After phosphine, Indian researchers now discover amino acid glycine in Venus' atmosphere

There are some 500 known amino acids, only 20% of which are encoded for, in living organisms. Glycine is the simplest amino acid.

A team of researchers has claimed to have discovered glycine – an amino acid molecule that forms proteins in living organisms – in the atmosphere of Venus. Lead author of the study Arijit Manna, a PhD Research Scholar from the department of Physics at Midnapore College in West Bengal, India, along with his team of researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/ submillimeter Array (ALMA) to detect glycine in the atmosphere of Venus using spectroscopy. The researchers detected glycine concentrations in the mid-latitudes, near the equator, where the signal was strongest. No glycine was found near the poles.

Writing about the study, researchers wrote that the detection of glycine in the atmosphere of Venus may be one of the keys towards understanding the formation of mechanisms of prebiotic molecules in Venus' atmosphere.

"The upper atmosphere of Venus may be going through nearly the same biological method as Earth billions of years ago," researchers added.

Venus. Image Credit: PLANET-C/JAXA

Venus. Image Credit: PLANET-C/JAXA

While there are about 500 known amino acids, only 20 percent are present in the genetic code of which glycine is the simplest form. The results of the study is at the pre-print site

This is not the first time that researchers found a biosignature on Venus. Researchers reported finding phosphine in the upper atmosphere of Venus in mid-September.

Also read: Phosphine found in the Venus atmosphere, could be signs of 'aerial life' in planet's clouds

Scientists at MIT, Cardiff University, and elsewhere, led by Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, detected in Venus’ atmosphere a spectral fingerprint, or light-based signature, of phosphine. The researchers made the discovery using Hawaii’s James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) observatory in Chile.

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