Document Detail

Transport of extraterrestrial biomolecules to the Earth: problem of thermal stability.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11543338     Owner:  NASA     Status:  MEDLINE    
The idea of extraterrestrial delivery of organic matter to the early Earth is especially attractive at present and is strongly supported by the detection of a large variety of organic compounds, including amino acids and nucleobases, in carbonaceous chondrites. Whether these compounds can be delivered by other space bodies is unclear and depends primarily on capability of the biomolecules to survive high temperatures during atmospheric deceleration and impacts to the terrestrial surface. In the present study we estimated survivability of simple amino acids (alpha-aminoisobutyric acid, L-alanine, L-valine and L-leucine), purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (uracil and cytosine) under rapid heating to temperatures of 400 to 1000 degrees C under N2 or CO2 atmosphere. We have found that most of the compounds studied cannot survive the temperatures substantially higher than 700 degrees C; however at 500-600 degrees C, the recovery can be at a per cent level (or even 10%-level for adenine, uracil, alanine, and valine). Implications of the data for extraterrestrial delivery of the biomolecules are discussed.
V A Basiuk; J Douda; R Navarro-Gonzalez
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Advances in space research : the official journal of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0273-1177     ISO Abbreviation:  Adv Space Res     Publication Date:  1999  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-09-24     Completed Date:  2000-09-24     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9878935     Medline TA:  Adv Space Res     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  505-14     Citation Subset:  S    
Laboratorio de Quimica de Plasmas y Estudios Planetarios, Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico.
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MeSH Terms
Adenine / chemistry
Amino Acids / chemistry*
Cosmic Dust
Cytosine / chemistry
Earth (Planet)
Evolution, Chemical
Extraterrestrial Environment*
Guanine / chemistry
Hot Temperature*
Particle Size
Piperazines / chemical synthesis
Uracil / chemistry
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Amino Acids; 0/Cosmic Dust; 0/Piperazines; 66-22-8/Uracil; 71-30-7/Cytosine; 73-24-5/Adenine; 73-40-5/Guanine

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