Peptides by Activation of Amino Acids with CO on (Ni,Fe)S Surfaces: Implications for the Origin of Life

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Science  31 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5377, pp. 670-672
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5377.670

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In experiments modeling volcanic or hydrothermal settings amino acids were converted into their peptides by use of coprecipitated (Ni,Fe)S and CO in conjunction with H2S (or CH3SH) as a catalyst and condensation agent at 100°C and pH 7 to 10 under anaerobic, aqueous conditions. These results demonstrate that amino acids can be activated under geochemically relevant conditions. They support a thermophilic origin of life and an early appearance of peptides in the evolution of a primordial metabolism.

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