Conditions for Purine Synthesis: Did Prebiotic Synthesis Occur at Low Temperatures?

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Science  01 Jul 1966:
Vol. 153, Issue 3731, pp. 72-73
DOI: 10.1126/science.153.3731.72


The rate of polymerization of hydrogen cyanide to aminomalononitrile and the tetramer, diaminomalonodinitrile, is quadratic in the total cyanide concentration. Since the reactions form part of a plausible prebiotic purine synthesis and since they compete with hydrolysis, concentration of cyanide may have been important. This may be achieved usefully by cooling to separate out ice.