Peptide formation in the prebiotic era: thermal condensation of glycine in fluctuating clay environments

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Science  07 Jul 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4350, pp. 67-69
DOI: 10.1126/science.663639


As geologically relevant models of prebiotic environments, systems consisting of clay, water, and amino acids were subjected to cyclic variations in temperature and water content. Fluctuations of both variables produced longer oligopeptides in higher yields than were produced by temperature fluctuations alone. The results suggest that fluctuating environments provided a favorable geological setting in which the rate and extent of chemical evolution would have been determined by the number and frequency of cycles.

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