Document Detail

Delivery of extraterrestrial amino acids to the primitive Earth. Exposure experiments in Earth orbit.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11541888     Owner:  NASA     Status:  MEDLINE    
A large collection of micrometeorites has been recently extracted from Antarctic old blue ice. In the 50 to 100 micrometers size range, the carbonaceous micrometeorites represent 80% of the samples and contain 2% of carbon. They might have brought more carbon to the surface of the primitive Earth than that involved in the present surficial biomass. Amino acids such as "-amino isobutyric acid have been identified in these Antarctic micrometeorites. Enantiomeric excesses of L-amino acids have been detected in the Murchison meteorite. A large fraction of homochiral amino acids might have been delivered to the primitive Earth via meteorites and micrometeorites. Space technology in Earth orbit offers a unique opportunity to study the behaviour of amino acids required for the development of primitive life when they are exposed to space conditions, either free or associated with tiny mineral grains mimicking the micrometeorites. Our objectives are to demonstrate that porous mineral material protects amino acids in space from photolysis and racemization (the conversion of L-amino acids into a mixture of L- and D-molecules) and to test whether photosensitive amino acids derivatives can polymerize in mineral grains under space conditions. The results obtained in BIOPAN-1 and BIOPAN-2 exposure experiments on board unmanned satellite FOTON are presented.
B Barbier; M Bertrand; F Boillot; A Chabin; D Chaput; O Henin; A Brack
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Uchū Seibutsu Kagaku     Volume:  12     ISSN:  0914-9201     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Sci. Space     Publication Date:  1998 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-08-15     Completed Date:  1999-08-15     Revised Date:  2009-06-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100972048     Medline TA:  Biol Sci Space     Country:  JAPAN    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  92-5     Citation Subset:  S    
Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire, CNRS, Orleans, France.
Space Flight Mission:
Flight Experiment; Foton Project; unmanned
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MeSH Terms
Aluminum Silicates / chemistry
Amino Acids / chemistry*
Bentonite / chemistry
Carbon / chemistry*
Cosmic Dust / analysis
Earth (Planet)
Evolution, Chemical*
Kaolin / chemistry
Space Flight / instrumentation*
Ultraviolet Rays
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Aluminum Silicates; 0/Amino Acids; 0/Cosmic Dust; 1302-78-9/Bentonite; 1302-87-0/clay; 1332-58-7/Kaolin; 7440-44-0/Carbon

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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