Marine Organic Chemistry: Evolution, Composition, by E.K. Duursma, R. Dawson

By E.K. Duursma, R. Dawson

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Extra resources for Marine Organic Chemistry: Evolution, Composition, Interactions and Chemistry of Organic Matter in Seawater

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1974. The possible role of clays in prebiotic peptide synthesis. Origins Life 5: 173-187. , 1965. Abiological synthesis of some nucleic acid constituents. W. Fox (Editor), The Origins of Prebiological Systems and of their Molecular Matrices. , pp. 221--241. Reid, C. , 1967. Synthesis of sugars in potentially prebiotic conditions. Nature, 216: 455. , Friedmann, N. , 1972. Prebiotic synthesis of hydrophobic and protein amino acids. Proc. Acad. Sci. , 69: 765-768. , 1976. Thermal polyamino acids: synthesis a t less than 100°C.

Anders et al. (+) = tentative identification; NS = n o t sought. , 1972). , 1968, 1975; Van der Velden and Schwartz, 1977). , 1971, 1973; Van der Velden and Schwartz, 1977). Very recently, however, uracil has been positively identified in water and acid extracts of the Orgueil, Murray and Murchison meteorites (Stoks and Schwartz, 1979). It is noteworthy that a portion of the amino acids, and many of the purines are only identifiable after acid extraction or hydrolysis. It is therefore unlikely that they exist in the free form.

For this mechanism to be useful, a pH change would have to occur subsequent to concentration; a somewhat unlikely sequence of events. Sanchez et al. (1967) have called attention t o the tendency of HCN to form highly concentrated eutectic phases when dilute solutions are frozen. An ideal temperature for such reactions is about - -20°C. The synthesis of amino acids and purines can thus be pictured as occurring during winter freezing of lakes and ponds, or in glaciers. This is an extremely attractive hypothesis and it is necessary to ask whether conditions permitting such climatic variation also existed on the primitive Earth.

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