The idea of alien life waiting for us somewhere out in the cosmos is nothing new, but what if that alien life is something from our past? Some day man may reach out into the stars and find… space dinosaurs.
Well, not space dinosaurs exactly, but new research suggests that creatures very similar to the monstrous T-rexes and Stegosaurus which once ruled our planet may have survived, evolved, and advanced on other planets. What’s more deadly than a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex? A hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex with a ray gun.
Scientist Ronald Breslow, Ph.D. believes this is a possibility because of the way the building blocks of life exist in mainly one orientation or shape. ACS explains it this way…
There are two possible orientations, left and right, which mirror each other in the same way as hands. This is known as “chirality.” In order for life to arise, proteins, for instance, must contain only one chiral form of amino acids, left or right. With the exception of a few bacteria, amino acids in all life on Earth have the left-handed orientation. Breslow describes evidence supporting the idea that the unusual amino acids carried to a lifeless Earth by meteorites about 4 billion years ago set the pattern for normal amino acids with the L-geometry, the kind in terrestial proteins, and how those could lead to D-sugars of the kind in DNA.
Breslow says evidence points to life on Earth having arisen from amino acids carried to a then lifeless planet by meteorites 4 billion years ago, setting up that pattern for “normal amino acids with the L-geometry”. If that’s true it implies that elsewhere in the universe there may be other life forms based on D-amino acids and L-sugars. Those life forms might be similar to advanced versions of our now extinct dinosaurs, if they arose on a planet where mammals didn’t have the good fortune of an asteroid to wipe out their dino-competitors.