"Scientists with the NASA Astrobiology Institute's JPL Icy Worlds team have built this series of glass tubes, thin barrels and valves with a laser and a detector system"
Wait, they built it with a laser? (Must be for the spot-welds)
"They want to see if sending these two liquids through a sample of rock that simulates ancient volcanic ocean crust can lead to the formation of simple organic molecules such as ethane and methane, and amino acids, biologically important organic molecules. Scientists have long considered these compounds the precursor ingredients for what later led to chains of RNA, DNA and microbes."
Hang on just a second, that sounds rather confusing, NASA. I think you mean complex molecule generation paves the way for future complexity. Methane, ethane, and amino acids aren't going to spontaneously assemble into DNA. Ever.
|That word, "ancient,"|
I do not think it means what you think it means...
"Ancient Ocean?" Is there a secret time-bubble hidden deep in the present-day mid-Atlantic? In case you're counting, they use the clunky 'organic molecules' some six times in the release.
"Scientists will alternately send the two solutions through a thin barrel of iron-magnesium-silica-volcanic-type rock that was synthesized by Shibuya..."
A what? A zeolite, maybe? There are so many qualifiers in that adjective conglomeration, I can't even figure out whether it's really a rock...
|Source: NASA JPL|
OK, maybe I'm being too harsh. In no way do I mean to impugn the actual science, which seems fascinating, just the strange retelling of it.
But hang on, aren't these the same folks (NASA Astrobiology Institute) who wrote that "Extraterrestrial Life on Earth" presser just two years ago? We all know how that turned out.
One would think they'd be very careful wording future releases.