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Data-Driven Astrochemistry: One Step Further within the Origin of Life Puzzle

Analytical BioGeoChemistry, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstaedter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
Analytical Food Chemistry, Technische Universität München, Maximus-von-Imhof-Forum 2, 85354 Freising, Germany
Université Aix-Marseille, Laboratoire de Physique des Interactions Ioniques et Moléculaires (PIIM), UMR CNRS 7345, 13397 Marseille, France
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 April 2018 / Revised: 20 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorites and the Origin of Life)
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Astrochemistry, meteoritics and chemical analytics represent a manifold scientific field, including various disciplines. In this review, clarifications on astrochemistry, comet chemistry, laboratory astrophysics and meteoritic research with respect to organic and metalorganic chemistry will be given. The seemingly large number of observed astrochemical molecules necessarily requires explanations on molecular complexity and chemical evolution, which will be discussed. Special emphasis should be placed on data-driven analytical methods including ultrahigh-resolving instruments and their interplay with quantum chemical computations. These methods enable remarkable insights into the complex chemical spaces that exist in meteorites and maximize the level of information on the huge astrochemical molecular diversity. In addition, they allow one to study even yet undescribed chemistry as the one involving organomagnesium compounds in meteorites. Both targeted and non-targeted analytical strategies will be explained and may touch upon epistemological problems. In addition, implications of (metal)organic matter toward prebiotic chemistry leading to the emergence of life will be discussed. The precise description of astrochemical organic and metalorganic matter as seeds for life and their interactions within various astrophysical environments may appear essential to further study questions regarding the emergence of life on a most fundamental level that is within the molecular world and its self-organization properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: astrochemistry; meteoritics; ultrahigh-resolving analytical chemistry; data analysis; origin of life astrochemistry; meteoritics; ultrahigh-resolving analytical chemistry; data analysis; origin of life

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Ruf, A.; d’Hendecourt, L.L.S.; Schmitt-Kopplin, P. Data-Driven Astrochemistry: One Step Further within the Origin of Life Puzzle. Life 2018, 8, 18.

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