Alien Nanomachines Key to Origins of Life? Nasa funds Study
Rutgers-led ENIGMA team examines whether “protein nanomachines” in our cells arose before life on Earth, other planets, may explain origins of life
Nasa has awarded a six million dollar grant to Rutgers University team of scientists called ENIGMA (Evolution of Nanomachines in Geospheres and Microbial Ancestors) to discover if tiny ‘machines’ lived on Earth before the earliest living organisms evolved. This interaction may explain the origins of life. These proteins may have evolved through a panspermia concept in which asteroids and meteors from other planets may have brought these amino acids together here on earth. This is similar in concept popularized in the movie “Prometheus” where aliens set forth the building blocks of life into the waters of planets. These building blocks adapted to the planet and began life. While the alien intervention concept may be a stretch, meteors have brought microorganisms to our planet in the past.
What is the ENIGMA project?
All life on Earth depends on the movement of electrons; life literally is electric. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out water vapor and carbon dioxide, and in that process we transfer hydrogen atoms, which contain a proton and an electron, to oxygen to make water (H20). We move electrons from the food we eat to the oxygen in the air to derive energy. Every organism on Earth moves electrons to generate energy. ENIGMA is a team of primarily Rutgers researchers that is trying to understand the earliest evolution of these processes, and we think that hydrogen was probably one of the most abundant gases in the early Earth that supported life.