Special Issue "Prebiotic Chemistry: Chemical Evolution of Organics on the Primitive Earth"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2013)
Prof. Dr. Vera M. Kolb
Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI 53141-2000, USA
Phone: +262 595 2133
Fax: +262 595 2056
Interests: origins of life; prebiotic chemistry; chemical evolution of organics; prebiotic organic reactions in water and in the solid state; astrobiology; definitions of life
Chemical evolution that led to life on the primitive Earth is intrinsically linked to the sources of the organic materials that were delivered to the Earth. These sources include comets, meteoroids and the resulting meteorites, among others. The basic organic materials are spread throughout the Universe. Any aspect of the cosmic chemical evolution is intrinsically linked to the chemical evolution on Earth. Various reactions for building chemicals that served as precursors of life typically include gas-phase reactions, reactions in the aqueous systems and in the solid state. Energy sources include electrical discharge, heat, and light, among others. Catalysis by the minerals is especially important. Emergence of the chiral selection is particularly relevant to life. Any aspect of these and related topics is relevant for this special issue. Submission of the scientific perspective and the literature review on this topic is also welcome.
Prof. Dr. Vera M. Kolb
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.
- chemical evolution
- prebiotic organic reactions
- gas-phase prebiotic reactions
- prebiotic reactions in the aqueous phase
- prebiotic reactions in the solid state
- energy sources on the primitive earth
- electrical discharge as a source of energy
- mineral catalysis
- chemicals from meteorites
- chiral selection
Article: Is Struvite a Prebiotic Mineral?
Life 2013, 3(2), 321-330; doi:10.3390/life3020321
Received: 14 March 2013; in revised form: 11 April 2013 / Accepted: 11 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013| Download PDF Full-text (184 KB)
Life 2013, 3(2), 331-345; doi:10.3390/life3020331
Received: 12 April 2013; in revised form: 17 April 2013 / Accepted: 18 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013| Download PDF Full-text (720 KB) | Download XML Full-text
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Type of Paper: Review
Title: Organics and biomolecules in HCN polymers: An overview
Authors: Marta Ruiz-Bermejo 1, Mª.-Paz Zorzano 2 and Susana Osuna-Esteban 1
Affiliations: 1 Departamento de Evolución Molecular. Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA). Ctra. Torrejón-Ajalvir, km 4. 28850-Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Departamento de Instrumentación Avanzada. Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA). 28850-Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain.
Abstract: Given the universal abundance of H, C and N: HCN is an ubiquitous molecule in the Universe. It is a carbon based molecule that is easily produced with significant yields in many prebiotic simulation experiments. It has even been proposed that HCN polymers may be the major components of dark matter, which could be present in objects such as asteroids, moons, planets and, in particular, comets. HCN can spontaneously polymerise in the presence of bases such as ammonia and free radicals when exposed to ionising radiation and are produced over wide temperatures and pressures ranges in both polar (water) and non-polar (hydrocarbon) solvents and surfaces. Since the 1960's it has been suggested that these polymers could play an important role in the origin of life because are precursors of important bioorganic compounds such as purines, pyrimidines and amino acids, as well as other biological compounds such as oxalic acid and guanidine. There are reviews in the literature about the formation, nature and structure of HCN polymers. However, to date there is no work summarizing the organic molecules that have been detected into the HCN polymers as well as the techniques (GC-MS, HPLC and so) and analytical procedures that shall be used to detected and characterize these molecules together with an exhaustive classification of the experimental/environmental conditions that favour the formation of HCN polymers and lead to the production of organics. Here we present a general overview about the synthesis and mechanistic proposals for the formation of organics from HCN polymers and the analytical methods for their detection and identification. These detail review may be of interest for chemical laboratory experts as well as to researchers of planetary and interplanetary environments that are postulated to sustain prebiotic reactions.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Is Struvite a Prebiotic Source of Phosphorus?
Authors: Maheen Gull 1 and Matthew A. Pasek 1
Affiliation: Department of Geology, SCA 528, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA; E-Mail: email@example.com (M.G.); firstname.lastname@example.org (M.A.P.)
Abstract: The prebiotic significance of struvite was studied and its plausible role as a mineral capable of phosphorylation was studied. Prebiotic phosphorylations of important biological compounds, such as glycerol, adenosine, and ethanolamine, were carried out, by heating with struvite in aqueous medium, at a temperature from 70-80oC, for 7-8 days. Moreover, the catalytic role of kaolinite, in the syntheses of biological phosphate esters was also studied. Results from these studies are contrasted to the geochemical availability of struvite, which is estimated using thermodynamic equilibrium modeling of substances and conditions similar to those that might be found on the early earth.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Natural Pyrrhotite as Catalyst in Prebiotic Chemical Evolution
Authors: Alejandra L. Ibañez de Aldecoa and César Menor-Salván
Affiliation: Centro de Astrobiologia (CSIC-INTA). Ctra. Torrejon-Ajalvir km. 4, 28850, Torrejón de Ardoz, SPAIN. E-Mail: email@example.com (A.L.I.A.); firstname.lastname@example.org (C.M.S.)
Abstract: The idea of an autotroph organism as first living being on Earth leads to the hypothesis of a protometabolic, chemical system. This system emerged by the interaction between sulphide minerals and fluids rich in inorganic precursors, reduced and derived from crustal or mantle activity in the main hypotheses. In this context, the possible catalytic role of pyrrhotite, one of the most frequent sulphide minerals, in biomimetic redox reactions, carbon fixation and nitrogen heterocycle synthesis was studied. Results showed that pyrrhotite in simulated hydrothermal conditions could catalyze the pyruvate synthesis from lactate and by carbon fixation from thioacetate esters. The catalytic role of pyrrhotite in the synthesis of nucleobases and other nitrogen heterocycles was also studied.
Last update: 5 March 2013