Complex organic molecules may not mean life

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Abstract:

The search for signs of life in the universe has included the detection of complex organic molecules, seen as a step on the way to living things. But now analysis of spectral signatures known as Unidentified Infrared Emission features found in stars, interstellar space and galaxies suggest that complex organic molecules can be made in stars in a matter of weeks without the presence of life.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4004.2011.52604_17.x

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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