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Exploring Space - The Quest for Life Exploring Space - The Quest for Life Exploring Space - The Quest for Life
Meteorites and Life - The Possible Relationship to Life

Did We Come From Comet Dust?

Louis Pasteur's Discovery: The Design of Life

May 1848

Dr. Louis Pasteur
Dr. Louis Pasteur
While working with the French wine industry in 1848, Dr. Louis Pasteur studied tartaric acid, a blackish purple substance that grows on the back of wine barrels. By studying this byproduct of wine fermentation that he called "wine diamonds," Pasteur concluded that molecules associated with life are structured exclusively with a left-handed design.

Today, we know that left-handed amino acids are the building blocks of life. Nearly all living organisms on Earth, from bacteria to humans, make proteins from left-handed amino acids.


Back Introduction 4.5 billion years ago  - In the Beginning: Formation of the Solar System less that 4.5 billion years ago - Crumbs of Creation: Formation of the Oort Cloud less that 4.5 billion years ago - More Crumbs of Creation: Formation of the Asteroid Belt May 1848 - Louis Pasteur's Discovery: The Design of Life Feb. 1953 - Stanley Miller's Experiment: Sparking the Building Blocks of Life Sept. 28, 1969 - The Murchison Meteorite Meets Earth Feb. 14, 1997 - Discovering a Left-Handed Link to Space: Amino Acids Found in Meteorite Dec. 20, 2001 - A Sweet Discovery: Sugars Found in Murchison Today - The Research Continues Next