Astonishingly old Antarctic space rock could explain mystery of life’s weird asymmetry


A time capsule of the earliest days of the solar system may be the first clue in explaining a long-standing puzzle for those who study life: It appears to be stubbornly asymmetrical.

The story begins in 2012, when scientists discovered a golf-ball-sized hunk of rock now known as Asuka 12236 on the icy expanses of Antarctica. Asuka 12236 wasn’t just any rock, it was a space rock — and not just any space rock either. Researchers think it’s a particularly old meteorite, perhaps containing material even older than our solar system, and that makes it the stuff of scientists’ dreams.

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