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News From the Field

Formaldehyde: Poison Could Have Set the Stage for the Origins of Life


April 4, 2011

a cross-section of a chondritic meteorite Formaldehyde, a poison and a common molecule throughout the universe, is likely the source of the solar system's organic carbon solids--abundant in both comets and asteroids. Scientists have long speculated about how the organic, or carbon-containing, material became a part of the solar system's fabric. New research from Carnegie Institution shows that these complex organic solids were likely made from formaldehyde in the primitive solar system. Full Story

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Carnegie Institution

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