Understanding the formation of biogenic molecules in abiotic conditions is a prerequisite in the origin-of-life studies. Determining the conditions allowing an efficient one-pot synthesis of the largest possible panel of biogenic compounds may shed light on the plausible scenario in which the processes that kick-started life might have occurred. We report a set of experiments describing the syntheses taking place from formamide (NH2CHO) and thermal water in the presence of meteorites, in the hydrothermal physical-chemical environment of the Phlegrean Fields. The results show that meteorites catalyse the synthesis of a large panel of organic compounds of biological rel- evance, including carboxylic acids, nucleobases, amino acids and sugars. The simplicity of the system (a one-carbon molecule as starting compound, a volcanic hydrothermal environment, meteorites as catalysts) hints to a possible extension of the results to similar environ- ments present in other planetary bodies and space objects.

Formamide-based prebiotic chemistry in the Phlegrean Fields

Botta, Lorenzo;Iacono, Roberta;AVINO, ROSARIO;Moracci, Marco
2018

Abstract

Understanding the formation of biogenic molecules in abiotic conditions is a prerequisite in the origin-of-life studies. Determining the conditions allowing an efficient one-pot synthesis of the largest possible panel of biogenic compounds may shed light on the plausible scenario in which the processes that kick-started life might have occurred. We report a set of experiments describing the syntheses taking place from formamide (NH2CHO) and thermal water in the presence of meteorites, in the hydrothermal physical-chemical environment of the Phlegrean Fields. The results show that meteorites catalyse the synthesis of a large panel of organic compounds of biological rel- evance, including carboxylic acids, nucleobases, amino acids and sugars. The simplicity of the system (a one-carbon molecule as starting compound, a volcanic hydrothermal environment, meteorites as catalysts) hints to a possible extension of the results to similar environ- ments present in other planetary bodies and space objects.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/767722
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 17
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 15
social impact