Saturday, November 29, 2008

Life Is Sweet! (If you can believe those astrobiologists anyway)

This is about as loosely related to food as you could hope for on this blog, but this sweet tidbit from Wired points out some interesting stuff about possible life in the universe. According to Wired blogger Clara Moscowitz, English scientists out of University College London found out the following about sugar in outer space (emphasis and links are mine):

A sugar molecule linked to the origin of life was discovered in a potentially habitable region of our galaxy.

The molecule, called glycolaldehyde, was spotted in a large star-forming area of space around 26,000 light-years from Earth in the less-chaotic outer regions of the Milky Way. This suggests the sugar could be common across the universe, which is good news for extraterrestrial-life seekers.

"This is an important discovery as it is the first time glycolaldehyde, a basic sugar, has been detected towards a star-forming region where planets that could potentially harbor life may exist," Serena Viti of University College London said in a press release.

This is the kind of stuff I post after filling my head with Doctor Who-related stuff all day again. That said, it really is a cool thing to find.