Chemical Analysis of a “Miller-Type” Complex Prebiotic Broth: Part II: Gas, Oil, Water and the Oil/Water-Interface

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Scherer, S.; Wollrab, E.; Codutti, Luca; Carlomagno, T.; da, Costa, S.G. et al.: Chemical Analysis of a “Miller-Type” Complex Prebiotic Broth: Part II: Gas, Oil, Water and the Oil/Water-Interface. In: Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 2016 (2016), S. 1-23. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11084-016-9528-8

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Abstract: 
We have analyzed the chemical variety obtained by Miller-Urey-type experiments using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) spectroscopy, gas chromatography followed by mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and two-dimensional gas chromatography followed by mass spectrometry (GCxGC/MS). In the course of a running Miller-Urey-type experiment, a hydrophobic organic layer emerged besides the hydrophilic aqueous phase and the gaseous phase that were initially present. The gas phase mainly consisted of aromatic compounds and molecules containing C≡C or C≡N triple bonds. The hydrophilic phase contained at least a few thousands of different molecules, primarily distributed in a range of 50 and 500 Da. The hydrophobic phase is characterized by carbon-rich, oil-like compounds and their amphiphilic derivatives containing oxygen with tensioactive properties. The presence of a wide range of oxidized molecules hints to the availability of oxygen radicals. We suggest that they intervene in the formation of alkylated polyethylene glycol (PEG) in the oil/water interface. CARS spectroscopy revealed distinct vibrational molecular signatures. In particular, characteristic spectral bands for cyanide compounds were observed if the broth was prepared with electric discharges in the gaseous phase. The characteristic spectral bands were absent if discharges were released onto the water surface. NMR spectroscopy on the same set of samples independently confirmed the observation. In addition, NMR spectroscopy revealed overall high chemical variability that suggests strong non-linearities due to interdependent, sequential reaction steps. © 2016 The Author(s)
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2016
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 145 71.78%
2 image of flag of France France 22 10.89%
3 image of flag of United States United States 7 3.47%
4 image of flag of China China 6 2.97%
5 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 4 1.98%
6 image of flag of Canada Canada 4 1.98%
7 image of flag of Vietnam Vietnam 2 0.99%
8 image of flag of Latvia Latvia 2 0.99%
9 image of flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 2 0.99%
10 image of flag of Kenya Kenya 1 0.50%
    other countries 7 3.47%

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