Ruben Dario Garcia Leon |
Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE).- Susana Iglesias-Groth, a researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), who searches for the origin of life in her scientific work, said in an interview with EFE that in the planetary systems of the Milky Way could be more likely to support life than previously thought.
Susana Iglesias-Groth has commented that if looking at the universe teaches anything, it is to be humble, and she has wondered why it is not possible that there is or has existed similar life in the galaxy, which is “immense”.
However, he has pointed out, it is possible that humans do not coincide temporally with these other forms of life, since the times in the universe are long.
The importance of tryptophan
That life may be extinct, but it is also likely that it is forming, and he has raised the need to keep an open mind, since, he has questioned, who would have said 40 years ago that there are so many extrasolar planets in our
Approaches that he has made after making public an investigation showing that in the interstellar medium of the Perseus Cloud there is tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids for the existence of human life.
The human brain needs tryptophan, which is found in many foods and can be transformed into serotonin, which regulates mood, but also melatonin, which regulates sleep.
Susana Iglesias-Groth, who began her doctoral thesis at the University of La Laguna when she was a professor of Physics and Chemistry at various Secondary Schools, focused at that time on molecular and quantum physics and investigated the properties of little carbon molecules. known then, the fullerenes.
Molecules that in 1985 were discovered by chance in the laboratory by Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley, who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry eleven years later for it.
The Perseus Cloud
Kroto, Curl and Smalley were trying to reproduce the chemistry of red giant stars and found molecules that are the third form of pure carbon (besides graphite and diamond).
Fullerenes are made up of carbon rings of six and five atoms that are also present in many of the key molecules for life, such as some amino acids.
Susana Iglesias-Groth began the search for fullerenes in the Perseus Cloud, which is one of the closest star-forming regions to the solar system, and did so with the Galileo telescope, at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, in La Palma , and with larger ones in Texas and Chile.
He first found simple molecules with carbon rings like naphthalene and anthracene.
Naphthalene in combination with water, ammonia, and ultraviolet radiation produces many of the essential amino acids for life.