The team focused on the conditions of interstellar space vaguely near a star system, where there might be some methane, ammonia, and water floating around. They exposed the mixture to frigid temperatures, low pressure, and ultraviolet radiation (like the light from a distant star). Remarkably, they found that the mixture formed several complex molecules. Among the molecules found were glycerol, an alcohol used on Earth for everything from laxatives to soap, and sorbitol, which we use as a sweetener. But the really exciting find was ribose, one of the building blocks of DNA and RNA.