Were the first macromolecules created on a primitive beach?
In order for life to emerge both peptides and nucleic acids must have appeared under "prebiotic" conditions. Despite numerous efforts, the formation of these macromolecules without the help of modern synthetic reagents has not been achieved in a laboratory. Now for the first time researchers have proposed a mechanism by which the formation of peptides could have occurred under prebiotic conditions. Reporting their findings in the July issue of the SCI journal Polymer International, they describe a molecular engine mechanism which could have taken place on primitive beaches in the Hadean age.
The molecular engine (the primary pump) relies on a reaction cycle made up of several successive steps, fed by amino acids, and fueled by NOx species. French researchers repeatedly cycled through the reaction steps using models of the primitive ocean, and each time peptides were formed, showing that the primary pump works at ambient temperatures and it continuously generates, elongates and complexifies sequential peptides.
Joanna Gibson | alfa
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