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Current Organic Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1385-2728
ISSN (Online): 1875-5348

The Role of Inorganic Compounds in the Prebiotic Synthesis of Organic Molecules

Author(s): Q. W. Chen and C. L. Chen

Volume 9, Issue 10, 2005

Page: [989 - 998] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/1385272054368394

Price: $65


One popular model suggests that life on Earth originates from a prebiotic soup, which is the idea that a large amount of different elements spontaneously came together in a pool to form basic organic moleculars. These basic organic moleculars are believed to have then condensed and reacted to form more complex organic moleculars and then eventually formed the original life. In the process of chemical evolution, the conversion of inorganic compounds to small organic moleculars is the first and indispensable step for the origin of life. Scientists have designed many experiments that could provide evidence in support of the theory of the prebiotic soup. In these experiments, small moleculars of CO2, CO, CH4 or CH3SH have ever been taken as the building blocks for the synthesis of organic molecules. When introducing H2S, N2, NH3 et al., amino acids, nucleotides and other possible monomers, nonenzymatically condensing to form oligomeric products, could be synthesized. Meanwhile, pyrite, coprecipitated (Ni,Fe)S, Fe3O4 as well as some other minerals might take part in the processes of selection, concentration and energy supplement, especially of the emergence of chirality preference in the extant amino acids and sugars in living organisms. Herein recent progress made in the research into the prebiotic soup theory of the origin of life is reviewed. Finally, after discussion of the possible existence of carbon nanotubes in primitive earth, their morphology similarity, affinity and selectivity with biology moleculars, it is proposed that carbon nanotubes might play a significant role in the origin of life.

Keywords: bioorganic molecules, photoreduction, polymerization, chemoautotrophic origin, thermophilic sulfate, chirality

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