After science has ruined so many of our idle fantasies, it seems only fair that a Columbia University Ph.D. should finally come along and point out that there may very well be a planet ruled by super-intelligent dinosaurs somewhere in the universe. Sort of.
Dr. Ronald Breslow’s study, which appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is an investigation of how and why amino acids, sugars and nucleosides (the basis for DNA and RNA), which can have either a left- or right-hand orientation, ended up so similar. On Earth, with the exception of a few bacteria, amino acids are left-hand oriented and sugars are mostly right-handed. The report states that for life to flourish on Earth (or elsewhere) it is critical that amino acids and nucleotides be predominantly uniform in shape.
It’s quite interesting, albeit a bit dry, so it looks like a PR team tried to help him out. There’s a real disparity between Breslow’s paper, titled “Evidence for the Likely Origin of Homochirality in Amino Acids, Sugars, and Nucleosides on Prebiotic Earth,” and the Journal of the American Chemical Society press release’s headline, which asks “Could ‘advanced’ dinosaurs rule other planets?”
Calls to the journal were not returned, so it would pretty hypocritical to do the hyperbolic thing and call this a shameless grab at SEO or extra page views by a pretty dry and academic publication. But come on.
Read the rest over at Motherboard.