A summary of the findings at PhysOrg suggests that the European authors (based at the Institut de Chimie de Nice and at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale) were able to create an artificial comet and subject it to conditions similar to those of a primordial object rotating about our proto-sun.
Under conditions akin to interplanetary space (-200 deg C and near-total vacuum), the team condensed a variety of compounds generally found in this interplanetary environment (water [H2O], ammonia [NH3] and methanol [CH3OH] molecules) onto a solid piece of magnesium fluoride (MgF2), while subjecting the entire system to ultraviolet radiation. After ten days of such harsh treatment, a few micrograms of artificial organic material were created.
Utilising modern analysis techniques (based mainly on the use of a multi-dimensional gas chromatograph) evidence of 26 amino acids (the basic building blocks of life) was discovered in this artificial comet. Most importantly, the team also identified six diamino acids; in particular N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine, which is one of the major constituents of the peptide nucleic acid molecule; a precursor of modern DNA.
In his youth, this author replicated the Miller-Urey experiment (a very similar experiment into life-forming chemistry) as an entry in a local high school Science Fair in an attempt to suggest purely terrestrial sources of life on Earth (with success within the bounds of the experiment); however the leap from this experiment to actual life was poorly understood. However, this new experiment outlines a clear path to the actual origins of life. More than that, it also simplifies the argument for life on other planets.
As well as replicating the result, planned subsequent experiments will investigate the conditions required to take the next steps required to 'create life.'