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Thread: The Origin of Meteoritic Amino Acids

  1. #1
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    The Origin of Meteoritic Amino Acids

    Harold Urey intrigued lots of people with his gas mixtures, electric sparks, and complex chemical goop. Here Henry Throop argues for the role of UV light on dust grain ices to create some similar complex chemistry, by irradiating strongly for short periods to simulate low doses over much longer ones......and sees lots of interesting stuff....life stuff. SEE:http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.3107
    Last edited by trinitree88; 2011-Dec-15 at 03:49 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
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    Don't forget the nucleobases and nucleobase analouges!
    In space PR and Politics are as important as engineering and science. And no-one can hear you screaming about it.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    Exploring other worlds with people is a great idea, but look at what has happened since the end of Apollo: How much could unmanned exploration (and astronomy) have discovered with all that money blown on paper rockets?

  3. #3
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    Nice find, thanks!

    This "stuff" is everywhere, naturally.
    Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the greater view?

  4. #4
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    Amino acids and other complex organics may be produced by UV rays in outer space, but how do we know whether the same kinds of processes happened on Earth?
    Amino acids is produced in living organisms by amino-synthesis, a biogenic process and perhaps it has always been biogenic, with UV rays playing no essential role in the process.

  5. #5
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    They are produced by UV in space because that is the only available energy source. On earth they occur naturally and much higher abdundance with reactions being driven by volcanic effects, climatic effects, atmospheric effects etc etc, though they do require a reducing environment. However, only eight or ten or so of the twenty amino acids used in terrestrial biology actually form in the meteorite environments, abiotically, or in pre-biotic experiments. That is, half of the amino acids used by organisms have been evolutionarily synthesised since abiogenesis. An alien biota, may have the 'natural' eight or so, but the other ten to twelve are likely be entirely different depending on the local evolutionary history.

  6. 2012-Oct-11, 02:39 AM

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