August 2, 2021

What is ethanolamine, the molecule found in space that is key to deciphering the origin of life

  • Carlos Serrano (@carliserrano)
  • BBC News World

Image source, Getty


Several of the ingredients that made life on Earth possible are present in space.

How did life originate on Earth? Nobody knows, but knowing the ingredients that made it possible can give us valuable clues.

In a recent study, a group of Spanish researchers claim that they detected one of these ingredients in space, very close to the center of the Milky Way.

It’s about the ethanolamine, a molecule that is present in the cell membrane of all living beings and that now, for the first time, was observed outside our planet.

“This can help us understand how the first cells on Earth“Víctor M. Rivilla, one of the co-authors of the study developed by the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), a Spanish state research center, associated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, tells BBC Mundo.