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Life 2013, 3(3), 449-473; doi:10.3390/life3030449
Article

Stability toward High Energy Radiation of Non-Proteinogenic Amino Acids: Implications for the Origins of Life

1,2,* , 3
, 4
 and 5
Received: 8 May 2013; in revised form: 15 May 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 30 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planet Formation and the Rise of Life)
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Abstract: A series of non-proteinogenic amino acids, most of them found quite commonly in the meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites, were subjected to solid state radiolysis in vacuum to a total radiation dose of 3.2 MGy corresponding to 23% of the total dose expected to be taken by organic molecules buried in asteroids and meteorites since the beginning of the solar system 4.6 × 109 years ago. The radiolyzed amino acids were studied by FT-IR spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and by polarimety and Optical Rotatory Dispersion (ORD). It is shown that an important fraction of each amino acid is able to “survive” the massive dose of radiation, while the enantiomeric excess is partially preserved. Based on the results obtained, it is concluded that it is unsurprising to find amino acids even in enantiomeric excess in carbonaceous chondrites.
Keywords: amino acids; non-proteinogenic; radiolysis; degradation; stability; optical activity; racemization amino acids; non-proteinogenic; radiolysis; degradation; stability; optical activity; racemization
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.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cataldo, F.; Iglesias-Groth, S.; Angelini, G.; Hafez, Y. Stability toward High Energy Radiation of Non-Proteinogenic Amino Acids: Implications for the Origins of Life. Life 2013, 3, 449-473.

AMA Style

Cataldo F, Iglesias-Groth S, Angelini G, Hafez Y. Stability toward High Energy Radiation of Non-Proteinogenic Amino Acids: Implications for the Origins of Life. Life. 2013; 3(3):449-473.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cataldo, Franco; Iglesias-Groth, Susana; Angelini, Giancarlo; Hafez, Yaser. 2013. "Stability toward High Energy Radiation of Non-Proteinogenic Amino Acids: Implications for the Origins of Life." Life 3, no. 3: 449-473.

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