A new study conducted by a team of researchers led by Japanese astronomer Tomonori Totani has suggested that life in the universe might not be confined to earth but will be common throughout the cosmos. During the study, researchers used biological and cosmological models and analyzed how life forms spontaneously in the cosmos in a process called abiogenesis.
Is life confined to earth?
As per current human knowledge, the only planet which hosts life is earth. As a result, studies on the origin of life will be mostly based on the conditions on this blue planet which is familiar to humans. The research report revealed that searching for RNA, a far simpler and more essential molecule than the DNA will be searched to detect signs of alien life that may be thriving somewhere in the deep nooks of the cosmos.
It should be noted that RNA is a polymer, and is made up of chemical chains known as nucleotides. As per researchers, RNA no less than 40 to 100 nucleotides is necessary to meet the self-replicating behaviour for life to exist. However, the research report noted that 40 to 100 nucleotides will not be possible when it comes to the observable universe, and this makes the unobservable universe quite crucial in discovering alien life.
"However, there is more to the universe than the observable. In contemporary cosmology, it is agreed the universe underwent a period of rapid inflation producing a vast region of expansion beyond the horizon of what we can directly observe. Factoring this greater volume into models of abiogenesis hugely increases the chances of life occurring," said Totani, Daily Galaxy reports. He also noted that further studies based on RNA chemistry will help to uncover the origin of life in the universe.
Aliens living on Mars?
It was around a few months back that Dr Jim Green, a NASA scientist had predicted the discovery of aliens in the near future. Green added that alien life will be discovered on Mars by NASA or ESA within 2021. The scientist also made it clear that human beings are not ready to accept the realities surrounding alien existence.