Sweet stellar organics

Last month scientists discovered some of the most complex organic molecules in space. Now, astrobiologists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, have compiled years of research to home in on the "sweet spots" where organic molecules might form in space from the carbon-rich debris of supernovae. Specifically, they focused on methanol, which is perceived as a key ingredient among the organic seeds that led to life. Team leader Douglas Whittet said: follow the methanol and you may be able to follow the chemistry that leads to life.