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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(6), 2681-2721; doi:10.3390/ijms10062681

Precambrian Lunar Volcanic Protolife

Department of Geology, California State University, Long Beach, California, 90840, USA
Received: 29 April 2009 / Revised: 28 May 2009 / Accepted: 3 June 2009 / Published: 11 June 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Life)
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Five representative terrestrial analogs of lunar craters are detailed relevant to Precambrian fumarolic activity. Fumarolic fluids contain the ingredients for protolife. Energy sources to derive formaldehyde, amino acids and related compounds could be by flow charging, charge separation and volcanic shock. With no photodecomposition in shadow, most fumarolic fluids at 40 K would persist over geologically long time periods. Relatively abundant tungsten would permit creation of critical enzymes, Fischer-Tropsch reactions could form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and soluble volcanic polyphosphates would enable assembly of nucleic acids. Fumarolic stimuli factors are described. Orbital and lander sensors specific to protolife exploration including combined Raman/laser-induced breakdown spectrocsopy are evaluated.
Keywords: fumaroles; protolife; caldera; energy sources; polymerase chain reaction; lunar sensors fumaroles; protolife; caldera; energy sources; polymerase chain reaction; lunar sensors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Green, J. Precambrian Lunar Volcanic Protolife. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 2681-2721.

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