A study by NASA researchers suggests life on earth may have received a cosmic kick start. Vitamin B3 or Niacin has been found in meteorite samples, a discovery that may help in understanding the intricate balance of circumstance responsible for life.
B3 fuels metabolism – without it, life would not exist. Karen Smith of Pennsylvania State University co-authored a paper with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and published her theory in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Smith believes some B3 may have existed as part of Earth’s ancient beginnings, but it was meteoric injections at just the right time that started life. B3 molecules are compromised by prolonged exposure to water – she believes we needed an extra little push from the cosmos to get things going.
Smith doesn’t think space vitamins support a connection to extraterrestrial life – not a dismissal of possibility, rather a scientific observation of how B3 molecules attached their atoms to other molecules.
At this point, all we can do is ponder a theory. I’ll take that with a smile – another step closer to science proving the origin of life.