Astronomers have discovered simple carbohydrates, necessary for the building of life, floating in the gas surrounding a star some 400 light years away.
Although the discovery does not prove the existence of extra-terrestrial life, it opens the doors of possibility even further ajar. The carbohydrates are present even before planets begin to form.
The lead astronomer, Jes Jørgensen, stated that
these results are giving us and other astronomers ammunition to go out and look for other prebiotic, and possibly more complex, molecules in regions where stars and planets are forming.