Meteorite could have carried nitrogen to Earth

A meteorite found in Antarctica could lend weight to the argument that life on Earth was aided by an extraterrestrial body, scientists claim.

Chemical analysis of the meteorite shows it to be rich in the gas ammonia, which contains the element nitrogen – found in the amino and nucleic acids which form the basis of life.

Analysis of other meteorites has revealed organic compounds which the authors of the new paper believe are too complex to have played a role.

Details of the study by researchers at Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new study is based on analysis of just under 4g of powder extracted from a meteorite called Grave Nunataks 95229 (named after its place of discovery in Antarctica).

The meteorite was found in 1995 and belongs to the “Renazzo” family of “carbonaceous chondrite” meteorites, a group of meteorites that retain much of their original composition and have not been melted by their parent body. They can contain high proportions of water and organic compounds.

The powder sample was shown to contain abundant amounts of ammonia as well as hydrocarbons (including the amino acids glycine and alanine).

Analysis of the isotopes of nitrogen and hydrogen found within the sample suggest the material originated from a “cold cosmic” environment, and were not the result of Earthly contaminants.

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LHC ‘has two years to find Higgs’

Researchers working at the Large Hadron Collider have said they expect to discover the Higgs boson particle by the end of 2012.

If the LHC does not turn up evidence of the Higgs during this run, physicists say they may have to significantly alter their views of physical laws.

The Higgs boson particle explains why other particles have mass, but it has not yet been observed by physicists.

The LHC is housed in a 27km-long tunnel under the French-Swiss border.

It smashes together proton particles travelling at close to the speed of light in a bid to uncover secrets of the Universe.

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Teologia de la Mision, 02

Fundamentación Teológica de la Misión. Curso a los Estudiantes de Síntesis Teológica del Studium Generale de los Dominicos de Colombia. Tema 2: Necesidad del Espíritu.

– El n. 65 del Documento de Santo Domingo (1992) habla de la presencia y acción del Espíritu en la vida y el caminar del Pueblo de Dios.

– Ezequiel, capítulo 37 trae la visión de los huesos secos, según la cual, la falta del Espíritu es equivalente a “muerte.” Pero esa realidad no es inmediatamente obvia pues también los que no creen parecen estar bien vivos.

– Para San Pablo el contraste se establece entre el hombre “natural” (ánthropos psychikós) y el hombre espiritual (ánthropos pneumatikós). El primero está gobernado por la idea de la transacción; el segundo, por la lógica del don, del regalo. Para el primero, la bondad es una inversión; para el segundo es una irradiación.

– Jesús vivió y predicó la lógica del Don, del Espíritu, de la gracia. Nosotros necesitamos del Espíritu porque: (1) Nuestra vida no siempre tiene con qué negociar una transacción; (2) Nuestra evangelización ha de ser irradiación de bondad, y no depender de las respuestas o pretensiones de los oyentes; (3) Sólo el Espíritu tiene poder sobre los corazones.

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