Self-Assembly of Prebiotic Organic Materials from Impact Events of Amino Acid Solutions

Self-Assembly of Prebiotic Organic Materials from Impact Events of Amino Acid Solutions

23 Thursday
Thu, 23/06/2016
11h -12 h




Conference by Nir Goldman, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Physical and Life Sciences Directorat.

Proteinogenic amino acids can be produced on or delivered to a planet via abiotic sources and were consequently likely present before the emergence of life on early Earth. Amino acids could have been delivered by exogenous sources, such as meteorites, comets, and interstellar dust partcles. Dipeptides of proteinogenic amino acids have been produced in the laboratory in interstellar ice models. Shock synthesis of amino acids has also been observed in both computational and experimental studies. Shock compression can induce the formation of extended C-N bonded networks similar to peptide chains in astrophysical ices. However, the role these materials played in the in the emergence of life remains an open question, in part because little is known about their survivability and reactivity upon impact with the early Earth surface.
Prebiotic synthesis derived from amino acids and peptideactivating agents would depend heavily on their fate during extreme pressures and temperatures. To this end, we have used quantum simulations to explore the role of extreme conditions in the emergence of organization of amino acids. Using a force matching semi-empirical quantum simulation method in development in our group, we have studied oblique impacts of aqueous glycine solutions at conditions of up to 40 GPa and 3000 K for close to chemical equilibrium timescales. Mor information on the website of Centre Blaise Pascal

Organizers :

  • Razvan Caracas (Laboratoire de Géologie, ENS de Lyon)
  • Cerasela Calugaru (Centre Blaise Pascal, ENS de Lyon, France)