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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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Abstract

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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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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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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