Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions

Matthew Levy, Stanley L. Miller, Karen Brinton, Jeffrey L. Bada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to simulate prebiotic synthetic processes on Europa and other ice-covered planets and satellites, we have investigated the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds from dilute solutions of NH4CN frozen for 25 years at -20 and -78°C. In addition, the aqueous products of spark discharge reactions from a reducing atmosphere were frozen for 5 years at -20°C. We find that both adenine and guanine, as well as a simple set of amino acids dominated by glycine, are produced in substantial yields under these conditions. These results indicate that some of the key components necessary for the origin of life may have been available on Europa throughout its history and suggest that the circumstellar zone where life might arise may be wider than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-613
Number of pages5
JournalIcarus
Volume145
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Europa
adenines
amino acids
amino acid
electric sparks
origin of life
acids
guanines
synthesis
glycine
organic compounds
planets
organic compound
ice
planet
histories
atmospheres
atmosphere
products
history

Keywords

  • Cyanide polymerization
  • Europa
  • Prebiotic synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Levy, M., Miller, S. L., Brinton, K., & Bada, J. L. (2000). Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions. Icarus, 145(2), 609-613. https://doi.org/10.1006/icar.2000.6365

Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions. / Levy, Matthew; Miller, Stanley L.; Brinton, Karen; Bada, Jeffrey L.

In: Icarus, Vol. 145, No. 2, 06.2000, p. 609-613.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Levy, M, Miller, SL, Brinton, K & Bada, JL 2000, 'Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions', Icarus, vol. 145, no. 2, pp. 609-613. https://doi.org/10.1006/icar.2000.6365
Levy, Matthew ; Miller, Stanley L. ; Brinton, Karen ; Bada, Jeffrey L. / Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions. In: Icarus. 2000 ; Vol. 145, No. 2. pp. 609-613.
@article{9cd42351771343e79694534847b2d34b,
title = "Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions",
abstract = "In order to simulate prebiotic synthetic processes on Europa and other ice-covered planets and satellites, we have investigated the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds from dilute solutions of NH4CN frozen for 25 years at -20 and -78°C. In addition, the aqueous products of spark discharge reactions from a reducing atmosphere were frozen for 5 years at -20°C. We find that both adenine and guanine, as well as a simple set of amino acids dominated by glycine, are produced in substantial yields under these conditions. These results indicate that some of the key components necessary for the origin of life may have been available on Europa throughout its history and suggest that the circumstellar zone where life might arise may be wider than previously thought.",
keywords = "Cyanide polymerization, Europa, Prebiotic synthesis",
author = "Matthew Levy and Miller, {Stanley L.} and Karen Brinton and Bada, {Jeffrey L.}",
year = "2000",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1006/icar.2000.6365",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "145",
pages = "609--613",
journal = "Icarus",
issn = "0019-1035",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions

AU - Levy, Matthew

AU - Miller, Stanley L.

AU - Brinton, Karen

AU - Bada, Jeffrey L.

PY - 2000/6

Y1 - 2000/6

N2 - In order to simulate prebiotic synthetic processes on Europa and other ice-covered planets and satellites, we have investigated the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds from dilute solutions of NH4CN frozen for 25 years at -20 and -78°C. In addition, the aqueous products of spark discharge reactions from a reducing atmosphere were frozen for 5 years at -20°C. We find that both adenine and guanine, as well as a simple set of amino acids dominated by glycine, are produced in substantial yields under these conditions. These results indicate that some of the key components necessary for the origin of life may have been available on Europa throughout its history and suggest that the circumstellar zone where life might arise may be wider than previously thought.

AB - In order to simulate prebiotic synthetic processes on Europa and other ice-covered planets and satellites, we have investigated the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds from dilute solutions of NH4CN frozen for 25 years at -20 and -78°C. In addition, the aqueous products of spark discharge reactions from a reducing atmosphere were frozen for 5 years at -20°C. We find that both adenine and guanine, as well as a simple set of amino acids dominated by glycine, are produced in substantial yields under these conditions. These results indicate that some of the key components necessary for the origin of life may have been available on Europa throughout its history and suggest that the circumstellar zone where life might arise may be wider than previously thought.

KW - Cyanide polymerization

KW - Europa

KW - Prebiotic synthesis

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034202840&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034202840&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1006/icar.2000.6365

DO - 10.1006/icar.2000.6365

M3 - Article

VL - 145

SP - 609

EP - 613

JO - Icarus

JF - Icarus

SN - 0019-1035

IS - 2

ER -