Long-Wavelength Ultraviolet Photoproduction of Amino Acids on the Primitive Earth

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Science  30 Jul 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3995, pp. 417-420
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3995.417


Amino acids are produced under possible primitive Earth conditions by irradiation of gas mixtures with long-wavelength ultraviolet light, representing the most abundant useful energy source for prebiological organic synthesis. Hydrogen sulfide is the initial photon acceptor in this work; superthermal atomic hydrogen photodissociation products appear to initiate reactions leading to amino acid synthesis with an overall quantum yield on the order of 5X10-5