Life 2013, 3(4), 538-549; doi:10.3390/life3040538

Simulations of Prebiotic Chemistry under Post-Impact Conditions on Titan

1,* email, 2email, 2email and 1email
Received: 4 November 2013; in revised form: 6 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 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: The problem of how life began can be considered as a matter of basic chemistry. How did the molecules of life arise from non-biological chemistry? Stanley Miller’s famous experiment in 1953, in which he produced amino acids under simulated early Earth conditions, was a huge leap forward in our understanding of this problem. Our research first simulated early Earth conditions based on Miller’s experiment and we then repeated the experiment using Titan post-impact conditions. We simulated conditions that could have existed on Titan after an asteroid strike. Specifically, we simulated conditions after a potential strike in the subpolar regions of Titan that exhibit vast methane-ethane lakes. If the asteroid or comet was of sufficient size, it would also puncture the icy crust and bring up some of the subsurface liquid ammonia-water mixture. Since, O’Brian, Lorenz and Lunine showed that a liquid water-ammonia body could exist between about 102–104 years on Titan after an asteroid impact we modified our experimental conditions to include an ammonia-water mixture in the reaction medium. Here we report on the resulting amino acids found using the Titan post-impact conditions in a classical Miller experimental reaction set-up and how they differ from the simulated early Earth conditions.
Keywords: prebiotic chemistry; Miller-Urey; Titan; amino acids
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [364 KB, uploaded 17 December 2013 14:02 CET]

Export to BibTeX |

MDPI and ACS Style

Turse, C.; Leitner, J.; Firneis, M.; Schulze-Makuch, D. Simulations of Prebiotic Chemistry under Post-Impact Conditions on Titan. Life 2013, 3, 538-549.

AMA Style

Turse C, Leitner J, Firneis M, Schulze-Makuch D. Simulations of Prebiotic Chemistry under Post-Impact Conditions on Titan. Life. 2013; 3(4):538-549.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Turse, Carol; Leitner, Johannes; Firneis, Maria; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk. 2013. "Simulations of Prebiotic Chemistry under Post-Impact Conditions on Titan." Life 3, no. 4: 538-549.

Life EISSN 2075-1729 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert