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Special Issue "From Molecules to Origin of Life: The Astrobiology Network"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Saladino
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Guest Editor
Full professor of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry, President of the Italian Society of Astrobiology, Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Interests: organic synthesis; chemistry of natural organic substances; multi-component chemistry; prebiotic chemistry; heterogeneous catalysis and bio-catalysis; bio-nanotechnology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Prebiotic chemistry, molecular evolution, chemiomimesis, and systems chemistry and biology represent the basic concepts for the study of the Origin of Life in planetary and sub-planetary as well as space-like conditions. Astrobiology is a multidisciplinary network that links these basic concepts from molecules to the first cells, encompassing theoretical studies, prebiotic synthesis and primordial accumulation processes, analytical detection tools, the emergence of chemical complexity and supramolecular organization, habitability, and extreme environmental conditions. Such concepts necessarily involve the history of primordial molecules and their transformation and evolution to primitive life, representing universal records for understanding both where we come from and where we are going.

Prof. Raffaele Saladino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • astrochemistry
  • computational chemistry
  • prebiotic chemistry and geochemistry
  • systems chemistry and biology
  • sub-planetary and meteorite chemistry
  • habitability
  • extremophiles

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Monitoring the Reactivity of Formamide on Amorphous SiO2 by In-Situ UV-Raman Spectroscopy and DFT Modeling
Molecules 2020, 25(10), 2274; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102274 - 12 May 2020
Abstract
Formamide has been recognized in the literature as a key species in the formation of the complex molecules of life, such as nucleobases. Furthermore, several studies reported the impact of mineral phases as catalysts for its decomposition/polymerization processes, increasing the conversion and also [...] Read more.
Formamide has been recognized in the literature as a key species in the formation of the complex molecules of life, such as nucleobases. Furthermore, several studies reported the impact of mineral phases as catalysts for its decomposition/polymerization processes, increasing the conversion and also favoring the formation of specific products. Despite the progresses in the field, in situ studies on these mineral-catalyzed processes are missing. In this work, we present an in situ UV-Raman characterization of the chemical evolution of formamide over amorphous SiO2 samples, selected as a prototype of silicate minerals. The experiments were carried out after reaction of formamide at 160 °C on amorphous SiO2 (Aerosil OX50) either pristine or pre-calcined at 450 °C, to remove a large fraction of surface silanol groups. Our measurements, interpreted on the basis of density functional B3LYP-D3 calculations, allow to assign the spectra bands in terms of specific complex organic molecules, namely, diaminomaleonitrile (DAMN), 5-aminoimidazole (AI), and purine, showing the role of the mineral surface on the formation of relevant prebiotic molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Molecules to Origin of Life: The Astrobiology Network)
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