A Search for Endogenous Amino Acids in Martian Meteorite ALH84001

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Science  16 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5349, pp. 362-365
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5349.362

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Trace amounts of glycine, serine, and alanine were detected in the carbonate component of the martian meteorite ALH84001 by high-performance liquid chromatography. The detected amino acids were not uniformly distributed in the carbonate component and ranged in concentration from 0.1 to 7 parts per million. Although the detected alanine consists primarily of the l enantiomer, low concentrations (<0.1 parts per million) of endogenousd-alanine may be present in the ALH84001 carbonates. The amino acids present in this sample of ALH84001 appear to be terrestrial in origin and similar to those in Allan Hills ice, although the possibility cannot be ruled out that minute amounts of some amino acids such as d-alanine are preserved in the meteorite.

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