Life 2013, 3(3), 421-448; doi:10.3390/life3030421

Simple Organics and Biomonomers Identified in HCN Polymers: An Overview

1,* email, 2email and 1email
Received: 15 April 2013; in revised form: 18 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 29 July 2013
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a ubiquitous molecule in the Universe. It is a compound that is easily produced in significant yields in prebiotic simulation experiments using a reducing atmosphere. HCN can spontaneously polymerise under a wide set of experimental conditions. It has even been proposed that HCN polymers could be present in objects such as asteroids, moons, planets and, in particular, comets. Moreover, it has been suggested that these polymers could play an important role in the origin of life. In this review, the simple organics and biomonomers that have been detected in HCN polymers, the analytical techniques and procedures that have been used to detect and characterise these molecules and an exhaustive classification of the experimental/environmental conditions that favour the formation of HCN polymers are summarised. Nucleobases, amino acids, carboxylic acids, cofactor derivatives and other compounds have been identified in HCN polymers. The great molecular diversity found in HCN polymers encourages their placement at the central core of a plausible protobiological system.
Keywords: HCN polymers; prebiotic synthesis; nucleobases; amino acids; carboxylic acids; chromatographic techniques
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruiz-Bermejo, M.; Zorzano, M.-P.; Osuna-Esteban, S. Simple Organics and Biomonomers Identified in HCN Polymers: An Overview. Life 2013, 3, 421-448.

AMA Style

Ruiz-Bermejo M, Zorzano M-P, Osuna-Esteban S. Simple Organics and Biomonomers Identified in HCN Polymers: An Overview. Life. 2013; 3(3):421-448.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; Zorzano, María-Paz; Osuna-Esteban, Susana. 2013. "Simple Organics and Biomonomers Identified in HCN Polymers: An Overview." Life 3, no. 3: 421-448.

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