The latest research on meteorites and amino acids

Meteorites reveal another way to make life’s components

I’ll be honest. The organic material side of meteorites studies confuses me. We read a paper in my meteorites course about organic matter, but without a background in organic chemistry it was a bit like reading a foreign language.That doesn’t meant I don’t appreciate the research or work being done on the subject. It’s just that my understanding of the subject is rather limited when compared to the petrologic aspect of the studies.I do like to read about it from time to time and expand my horizons beyond shock deformation and isotopes.

A new paper was recently published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science (MAPS) that details the presence of amino acids in meteorites that were heated to temperatures thought unfriendly to these precursors of life. I’m not yet well versed in organic chemistry to explain some of those detail, but the linked article seems like it explains the concepts well enough. The abstract from MAPS can be found here¬†and it’s going in my queue of things to read over the spring break.

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3 thoughts on “The latest research on meteorites and amino acids

  1. Hi Ryan, thanks for the post! I made a short blog entry about my paper (http://astrochem.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/nasa-meteorites-reveal-another-way-to-make-lifes-components/) if you want to take a look at it; although I’m not sure it adds much more context than is in the press release. It does have a few links to some other amino acid – meteorite studies. Also, it looks like I am going to be at PSU next month sometime if you’re interested in knowing more about meteorite organics. Cheers, and good luck with finals (I assume they’re coming up soon?)

    Aaron

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