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The Nitrogen Heterocycle Content of Meteorites and Their Significance for the Origin of Life

Centro de Química-Física Molecular-Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CQFM-IN) and Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB), Departamento de Engenharia Química, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorites and the Origin of Life)
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Carbonaceous chondrites are very primitive meteorites that are rich in carbon. They contain many soluble organic compounds, including nitrogen heterocycles. These play a crucial role in present-day living organisms as they are components of the genetic material and of the co-factors of enzymes. This review outlines the nitrogen heterocycle content of carbonaceous meteorites. The potential mechanisms of formation of these molecules are also described. Measurements of the compound-specific carbon and hydrogen isotopic compositions are mentioned as a way of establishing the origin of the nitrogen heterocycles detected in meteorites. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen heterocycles; meteorites; life; prebiotic chemistry nitrogen heterocycles; meteorites; life; prebiotic chemistry

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Martins, Z. The Nitrogen Heterocycle Content of Meteorites and Their Significance for the Origin of Life. Life 2018, 8, 28.

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