Document Detail

Abundant ammonia in primitive asteroids and the case for a possible exobiology.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21368183     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Carbonaceous chondrites are asteroidal meteorites that contain abundant organic materials. Given that meteorites and comets have reached the Earth since it formed, it has been proposed that the exogenous influx from these bodies provided the organic inventories necessary for the emergence of life. The carbonaceous meteorites of the Renazzo-type family (CR) have recently revealed a composition that is particularly enriched in small soluble organic molecules, such as the amino acids glycine and alanine, which could support this possibility. We have now analyzed the insoluble and the largest organic component of the CR2 Grave Nunataks (GRA) 95229 meteorite and found it to be of more primitive composition than in other meteorites and to release abundant free ammonia upon hydrothermal treatment. The findings appear to trace CR2 meteorites' origin to cosmochemical regimes where ammonia was pervasive, and we speculate that their delivery to the early Earth could have fostered prebiotic molecular evolution.
Sandra Pizzarello; Lynda B Williams; Jennifer Lehman; Gregory P Holland; Jeffery L Yarger
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2011-02-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  108     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2011 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-03-16     Completed Date:  2011-05-16     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  4303-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Ammonia / analysis*
Chromatography, Gas
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Minor Planets*
Solvents / chemistry
Water / chemistry
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Solvents; 7664-41-7/Ammonia; 7732-18-5/Water

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