BIO Web of Conferences
Volume 2, 2014EPOV 2012: From Planets to Life – Colloquium of the CNRS Interdisciplinary Initiative “Planetary Environments and Origins of Life”
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Primitiv Materials, Fossil Materials|
|Published online||18 February 2014|
The origin of biomolecular asymmetry – Insights from cometary and meteoritic matter
1 Institut de Chimie de Nice, CNRS UMR 7272, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 06108 Nice Cedex 2, France
2 Synchrotron SOLEIL, St. Aubin BP 48, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
3 Institute for Storage Ring Facilities, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
4 Institute d’Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS, Université Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
The chemistry of life is purely stereospecific. The fundamental biopolymers – proteins and nucleic acids – are intrinsically chiral due to their molecular building blocks, namely L-amino acids and D-sugars. Hypotheses for the evolutionary origin of that strict stereochemical selection include the asymmetric photochemistry model by which circularly polarized (CP) photons induced an enantiomeric excess in chiral organic molecules via asymmetric photolysis. The transfer of a distinct chirality from chiral photons to organic molecules is assumed to have occurred in environments of interstellar molecular clouds. This model is strengthened by the observation of CP light in the star-forming region of Orion. Due to our laboratory experiments mimicking cometary ice evolution, we show that molecules of prebiotic interest such as amino and diamino acids are formed in inter/protostellar environments and might have been subjected to CP vacuum-UV radiation before and during their space journey to the early Earth.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.