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This volume contains the lectures presented at the second course of the International School of Space Chemistry held in Erice (Sicily) from October 20 - 30 1991 at the "E. Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture". The course was attended by 58 participants from 13 countries. The Chemistry of Life's Origins is well recognized as one of the most critical subjects of modem chemistry. Much progress has been made since the amazingly perceptive contributions by Oparin some 70 years ago when he first outlined a possible series of steps starting from simple molecules to basic building blocks and ultimate assembly into simple organisms capable of replicating, catalysis and evolution to higher organisms. The pioneering experiments of Stanley Miller demonstrated already forty years ago how easy it could have been to form the amino acids which are critical to living organisms. However we have since learned and are still learning a great deal more about the primitive conditions on earth which has led us to a rethinking of where and how the condition for prebiotic chemical processes occurred. We have also learned a great deal more about the molecular basis for life. For instance, the existence of DNA was just discovered forty years ago.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789401048569
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Publication date: 10/12/2012
Series: Nato Science Series C: , #416
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1993
Pages: 423
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.45(h) x 0.04(d)

Table of Contents

Preface. Interstellar dust evolution: a reservoir of prebiotic molecules; J.M. Greenberg, C.X. Mendoza-Gómez. Laboratory simulations of grain icy mantles processing by cosmic rays; V. Pirronello. Physics and chemistry of protoplanetary accretion disks; W.J. Duschl. Chemistry of the solar nebula; B. Fegley, Jr. Early evolution of the atmosphere and ocean; J.F. Kasting. Origin and evolution of Martian atmosphere and climate and possible exobiological experiments; L.M. Mukhin. The possible pathways of the synthesis of precursors on the early earth; L.M. Mukhin, M.V. Gerasimov. Physical and chemical composition of comets - from interstellar space to the earth; J.M. Greenberg. Organic matter in meteorites: molecular and isotopic analyses of the Murchison meteorite; J.R. Cronin, S. Chang. Prebiotic synthesis in planetary environments; S. Chang. Prebiotic synthesis on minerals: RNA oligomer formation; J.P. Ferris. Biology and theory: RNA and the origin of life; A.W. Schwartz. Chirality and the origins of life; A. Brack. Early proteins; A. Brack. The beginnings of life on earth: evidence from the geological record; M. Schidlowski. Index.

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