Prebiotic synthesis of carboxylic acids, amino acids and nucleic acid bases from formamide under photochemical conditions⋆
Dipartimento di Scienze Ecologiche, Biologiche Università della Tuscia, Via San Camillo De Lellis, 01100, Viterbo, Italy
2 INAF, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125, Firenze, Italy
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Accepted: 12 June 2017
Published online: 21 July 2017
The photochemical transformation of formamide in the presence of a mixture of TiO2 and ZnO metal oxides as catalysts afforded a large panel of molecules of biological relevance, including carboxylic acids, amino acids and nucleic acid bases. The reaction was less effective when performed in the presence of only one mineral, highlighting the role of synergic effects between the photoactive catalysts. Taken together, these results suggest that the synthesis of chemical precursors for both the genetic and the metabolic apparatuses might have occurred in a simple environment, consisting of formamide, photoactive metal oxides and UV-radiation.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, 2017