Could 'advanced' dinosaurs rule other planets?

Apr 11, 2012
Could 'advanced' dinosaurs rule other planets?
Credit: iStock

New scientific research raises the possibility that advanced versions of T. rex and other dinosaurs — monstrous creatures with the intelligence and cunning of humans — may be the life forms that evolved on other planets in the universe. "We would be better off not meeting them," concludes the study, which appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

In the report, noted scientist Ronald Breslow, Ph.D., discusses the century-old mystery of why the building blocks of terrestrial (which make up proteins), sugars, and the genetic materials DNA and RNA exist mainly in one orientation or shape. There are two possible orientations, left and right, which mirror each other in the same way as hands. This is known as "chirality." In order for life to arise, proteins, for instance, must contain only one chiral form of amino acids, left or right. With the exception of a few bacteria, amino acids in all life on Earth have the left-handed orientation. Most sugars have a right-handed orientation. How did that so-called homochirality, the predominance of one chiral form, happen?

Breslow describes evidence supporting the idea that the unusual amino acids carried to a lifeless Earth by meteorites about 4 billion years ago set the pattern for normal amino acids with the L-geometry, the kind in terrestial proteins, and how those could lead to D-sugars of the kind in DNA.

"Of course," Breslow says, "showing that it could have happened this way is not the same as showing that it did." He adds: "An implication from this work is that elsewhere in the universe there could be based on D-amino acids and L-sugars. Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth. We would be better off not meeting them."

The author acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation.

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More information: “Evidence for the Likely Origin of Homochirality in Amino Acids, Sugars, and Nucleosides on Prebiotic Earth” J. Am. Chem. Soc., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/ja3012897

Abstract
Over the past century the origin of terrestrial prebiotic homochirality has been the subject of many speculations. For life to start on earth and elsewhere, it is critical that the building blocks of amino acids, sugars, and nucleosides be created in predominant homochiral form. Recent findings of a modest excess L chirality of α-methylamino acids in some meteorites that landed on earth have furnished an important piece of evidence. We have shown how these meteoritic components can furnish normal L amino acids, and therefrom D sugars and nucleosides, in high chiral excess under sensible prebiotic conditions. Some important remaining goals are also described.

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User comments : 35

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baudrunner
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2012
It's silly to say that we sould be better off not meeting them. Life doesn't proliferate in an environment where everything routinely kills everything else because of some innate terror gene or inherited ferocity, as presumed in the article. Life would not survive. Look at us. Would you rather not meet us? We were once dinosaurs, too. We evolved from egg stealing two-legged creatures with tails (better to run upright and clutch our booty with longer arms evolved for the purpose) who would rather steal to eat than kill. That's why we survived. Normal intelligent life is good and peaceful, except for your double Y's.
RazorsEdge
5 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2012
What has speculation about dinosaurs got to do with chirality?
Shootist
3.6 / 5 (14) Apr 11, 2012
Could 'advanced' dinosaurs rule other planets?


Yes. They are known as the Gorn.
pauljpease
5 / 5 (19) Apr 11, 2012
I nominate this article for "most misleading title and intro in the history of science journalism" award.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2012
"Could 'advanced' dinosaurs rule other planets?"

-Some think they already rule this one...

"According to British writer David Icke, 5 to 12-foot (1.5 - 3.7 m) tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis star system, now hiding in underground bases, are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy against humanity."
http://en.wikiped...ptilians
http://en.wikiped...vid_Icke
http://www.youtub...=related

8-O
Lurker2358
1.5 / 5 (10) Apr 11, 2012
This is kinda like asking whether advanced platypuses or advanced jellyfish could rule another planet.

Who knows? Maybe life-draining "Metroids" really exist in SR388...

Well, first of all there has to be an platypus or a jellyfish on the other planet at all.

I thought you guys believed in "Evolution" and "Abiogenesis", so why would you expect mitochondria or chloroplasts to exist on another planet if they are supposedly just the results of random accidents plus selection here on Earth?

Without mitochondria or at least a functionally equivalent mechanism, multi-cellular "animal-like" life would not be possible.
tadchem
5 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2012
"Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth."
The main point of the article seems to be about homochirality in amino acids, sugars, and the base pairs of our genetic material.
Two totally unrelated issues...
sstritt
3.2 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2012
I nominate this article for "most misleading title and intro in the history of science journalism" award.

Or just the most gigantic leap of logic in the history of science.
Mike_Massen
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 11, 2012
Highly recommend this episode from "The Outer Limits Season 7, Ep8"
http://www.imdb.c...0667991/ "Think like a dinosaur"

The dino's in this short are technically advanced and vegetarians (despite their sizable teeth) but, have a very practical attitude and command of emotions. This is one of the best episodes of the series and is relevant here in several ways.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2012
chirality in DNA will still yield DNA
TS1
1 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2012
It would surprise me if this article does not get picked up by the "reptilian" proponents at abovetopsecret.com and other similar joints.

Brought to mind this funny idea that perhaps nearly any idea can be expressed as a scientific hypothesis as long as its axioms are properly elucidated...the proper choice of terms here having more weight than the actual message. Which is probably what happened (in an extreme way) in Germany around 1930.
Eikka
3.8 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2012
The simpler explaination is that it's easier for the lefties to eat lefties, and the righties to eat righties, since the parts are already in the right configuration and ready for re-use. The two different versions can't readily eat one another, so they're reduced to competing for the same environmental resources for sustenance.

Whichever got started first had a headstart in occupying all evolutionary niches and all resources, and due to the tendency for life to multiply exponentially, even a small headstart means one of them simply starved the other one out of existence.
axemaster
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2012
Could 'advanced' dinosaurs rule other planets?

Could 'advanced' hairy meat-things rule this planet?

Also, speculation is just that; speculation. And this article is chock full of it.
MrVibrating
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2012
I think i get it - so if an alien ecology had reversed-chiralty, the dominant species would be carnivorous plants! Wow this exobiology lark's a doddle eh..?
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2012
Yes, advanced dinosaurs could rule other planets. The Gorn race is just one example of such a thing.

Shootist
2.7 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2012
Yes, advanced dinosaurs could rule other planets. The Gorn race is just one example of such a thing.



Day late. Dollar short.
StarGazer2011
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2012
This is the stupidest article ever. The scramble for funding creates some really perverse incentives to sensationalise and propogate non-arguments. What on Earth (or elsewhere) does the chirality of amino-acids have to do with if dinosaurs (of either chirality) have evolved elsewhere and if those distant dinos were subsequently wiped out as they were on Earth, and if they werent if they could have evolved to posess conscious intellects comparable to humanity? I mean seriously, this might as well be climate postnormalism!
StarGazer2011
1 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2012
Did anyone wonder what the convective effects of this multi GW microwave ray might be? Since microwaves heat water, and the air is full of water, i think there might be some 'extreme' events, at least according to climate postnormalism if not actual science.
Shabs42
4 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2012
Had to rate it a two for the comedy factor of this article. I actually chuckled when I saw the words "concludes the study."

And Lurker, you don't have to try and make every article's comment section a flame war. I thought we could all be united in just making fun of this one...
Sinister1811
Apr 12, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Picard
5 / 5 (4) Apr 12, 2012
Maybe gingerbread men rule on other planets. It would be in their best interest if they never make contact with us.
kevinrtrs
1.2 / 5 (13) Apr 12, 2012
The century old chirality problem just isn't going away anytime soon. People who believe in evolution really have to tackle this thorny issue first before carrying on with the other superimposed assumption that all life on earth had only one ancestor.

Let me make it quite clear: The chirality problem is just one of many clear indications that life CANNOT arise by accident/chance - no matter how one tries to ignore the basic principles of science.
The implications are that organic life was created by some intelligent agent and that runs squarely in the face of evolutionary thought which posits that there is no such intelligent agent.
Gingerstyx
4.7 / 5 (10) Apr 12, 2012
"The implications are that organic life was created by some intelligent agent and that runs squarely in the face of evolutionary thought which posits that there is no such intelligent agent."

Claiming that an "intelligent agent" created everything with a wave of his magical hand flies squarely in the face of rational thought.
Eikka
3 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2012
It's really trivial to understand why one version would dominate over the other.

Suppose a cell doubles every hour. Now, suppose the D cell got a 24 hours head start before the L variant emerged out of the primodrial soup. There would be 16,777,216 times more D cells than L cells by the end of the first day.

The L cell can never catch up that difference, because 2^n to 2^(n-24) for any n larger than 24 is always going to be ~16.8 million against one.

The D cells then went on to evolve into D animals and bacteria and archae etc. and the L cells were left behind in small niches because they had no edible leftovers after the D-s had eaten everything and turned it into the wrong chirality.

You don't need to seed the earth with one version to have one dominate, because it's down to a relatively tiny difference of hours or days for one version to start first and conquer the entire biosphere for itself.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2012
And if they can eat one another, albeit at a higher metabolic cost because you have to break the molecules down further, if there are 16,8 million cannibals against one, which one do you think will get eaten?

ahmedgnz
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2012
This article is popular acience writing at its dumbest; science fiction at its worst. If the presumed advanced Dinosaurian alien life-forms had an inverse protein and nucleic acid chirality from ours WE WOULD BE UNEDIBLE for them and therefore not their prey. Competition between our species would be for raw resources but not for biospheres, since any living ecosystem favorable to us would be inimical to them and viceversa.
Jamie_Narisara
5 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2012
Only read the abstract, not the whole article, but it seems that the article is simply about chirality, and the stuff about dinosaurs was just a passing comment. At any rate, I would be terribly surprised if exact analogs of vertebrates (let alone dinosaurs) evolved on another world. At the very most, you might find worlds with bilateral, endoskeletal, quadrupedal animaloids. But one look at them would still confirm that these animaloids had a wholly separate evolutionary heritage.
aroc91
5 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2012
The century old chirality problem just isn't going away anytime soon. People who believe in evolution really have to tackle this thorny issue first before carrying on with the other superimposed assumption that all life on earth had only one ancestor.

Let me make it quite clear: The chirality problem is just one of many clear indications that life CANNOT arise by accident/chance - no matter how one tries to ignore the basic principles of science.
The implications are that organic life was created by some intelligent agent and that runs squarely in the face of evolutionary thought which posits that there is no such intelligent agent.


Stop lying, kevin. There is no "chirality problem." UV light selectively destroys D-AAs, leaving only L-AAs on meteorites. L-AAs isomerize D-AAs to L. Hydrothermal vents have been OBSERVED differentiating L-AAs from D-AAs due to their differences in crystallization. Kindly fuck off. You're making up imaginary problems, just like your imaginary god
Mike_Massen
2.7 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2012
kevinrtrs is emotionally attached to a deity, does he wish to ingratiate himself to a deity's favour with this ?
The implications are that organic life was created by some intelligent agent and that runs squarely in the face of evolutionary thought which posits that there is no such intelligent agent.
This so called Intelligent Agent (IA) seems to crop up with those who lack imagination & crave certainty.

If there is an IA, then its not particularly smart, all life forms have very short lifespans, all more complex lifeforms such as mammals produce far more offspring than necessary for survival, it appears the IA invites survival of the fittest via randomness & that means a tremendous amount of suffering.

Eg. Take humans, females have ~10^6 eggs made when she was in her mothers womb, males can produce 250x10^6 sperm/day, many children born with medical problems.

Even in 1 sec over earth, billions of environments, work out permutations, you dont need an IA at all, its maths !
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2012
The century old chirality problem just isn't going away anytime soon. People who believe in evolution really have to tackle this thorny issue first before carrying on with the other superimposed assumption that all life on earth had only one ancestor.

Let me make it quite clear:
Sorry kev you have made it clear that you can either accept ID or do only a little research to find out that it is nonsense.
http://pandasthum...-li.html
http://www.youtub...OMdufCKM
http://www.youtub...amp;NR=1

Your chirality argument has been debunked. I assume that

1) You have posted all this time and somehow missed this info

or

2) Have been presented with it and have chosen to ignore it and continue to post your debunked explanations; ie to lie through your teeth.
GaryB
not rated yet Apr 15, 2012
Wow! But wait, since Paleozoic life was wiped out by something prior to the age of dinosaurs, that must mean ... wait for it. The Universe is ruled by Paleozoic thingiemaboppers!!! Wait to the Cambrian and pre-Cambrian overloards hear about this!

This might even imply that other planets are in fact run by intelligent dogs!!!! Wait, dogs aren't very intelligent.
mosahlah
1.7 / 5 (3) Apr 15, 2012
We all dropped a notch for just having read this.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
not rated yet Apr 15, 2012
This press release, which contains huge misunderstandings of evolution as for example "inevitable descent", has really been panned by scientists. Read Switek for example.
Sonhouse
not rated yet Apr 15, 2012
If they could be advanced enough to take over the planet like we have, we have been around for only a few million years. Dinosaurs were around for a couple hundred million years. Why didn't they advance to intelligence in all that time?
nuge
not rated yet Apr 15, 2012
This has got to be the most bizarre article I've ever read on physorg. Chiralty therefore evil genius dinosaurs!! Lol wut?
aroc91
not rated yet Apr 17, 2012
If they could be advanced enough to take over the planet like we have, we have been around for only a few million years. Dinosaurs were around for a couple hundred million years. Why didn't they advance to intelligence in all that time?


Intelligence isn't necessarily inevitable. There obviously wasn't any selective pressure.