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Research on the mysteries of homochirality in amino acids, sugars, and nucleosides on prebiotic earth takes an odd turn toward the possibility of cunning dinosaurs on distant planets.
Few scientific papers stir much interest in the general population.
At first glance, the paper, "Evidence for the Likely Origin of Homochirality in Amino Acids, Sugars, and Nucleosides on Prebiotic Earth" in the Journal of the American Chemical Society by Ronald Breslow of Columbia University, appears too dense and impenatrable for anyone without a PhD in chemistry.
However, at the end of Breslow's paper, the tone changes and the imagination is stirred when he speculates that there may indeed be living dinosaurs on other planets that have human intelligence or greater.
The paragraph reads, according to io9:
"An implication from this work is that elsewhere in the universe there could be life forms based on D amino acids and L sugars, depending on the chirality of circular polarized light in that sector of the universe or whatever other process operated to favor the L α‐methyl amino acids in the meteorites that have landed on Earth.
He goes on to write, "Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth. We would be better off not meeting them."
According to TG Daily, Breslow's report takes on a more serious topic, that of the mystery of why the building blocks of terrestrial amino acids, sugars, and the genetic materials DNA and RNA take only one shape and only two possible orientations.
The mystery goes back to the origins of life itself.
One theory that Breslow agrees with is that meteorites carried certain amino acids billions of years ago 'seeding' the earth.
Thus, according to Smithsonian, the planet's flora and fauna would be constrained by their characteristics.
This might mean that on other planets there was an opposite biochemical orientation than that of life on earth.
Though just speculation, space dinosaurs, it seems, might not just be in the imagination of Star Trek creators after all.