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The Chemistry of Life's Origins : NATO SCIENCE SERIES SERIES C: MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES - J. Mayo Greenberg

The Chemistry of Life's Origins

NATO SCIENCE SERIES SERIES C: MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES

By: J. Mayo Greenberg (Editor), C.X. Mendoza-Gomez (Editor), Valerio Pirronello (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 31st October 1993
ISBN: 9780792325178
Number Of Pages: 423

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The now recognized extensive existence of life on earth very shortly after the destructive bombardment of the earth's surface by early solar system debris has stimulated inquiry into possible exogenous sources of prebiotic molecules from space as well as intensified studies of the early earth's atmosphere.
The chapters in this book cover the possible sources of prebiotic molecules and avenues by which life could have evolved, starting from the birth and evolution of the solar system. The relevance of the classic experiments by Stanley Miller on the formation of life's building blocks on an early earth is reexamined. The role of chemistry in space is covered by chapters on interstellar dust, and meteorites to which experimental as well as theoretical investigations have been directed. In various chapters the existence of amino acids as well as other prebiotic molecules in meteorites is clearly established and inferred for interstellar dust and comets. Theories of molecular synthesis in the solar nebula are considered. Extensive coverage is given to the physical conditions and to prebiotic systems on the early earth. Possible pathways to life on an early Mars and the possible messages to be obtained by space exploration are discussed. Questions of effects of clays and of chirality on early chemical evolution are discussed. Recent ideas on the RNA world as the precursor to life are reviewed. The open-endedness of the study of life's origins and the need to investigate whether the prebiotic building blocks formed in outer space or on the earth is emphasized.
A good deal of the book is suitable to graduate students.

Preface
Interstellar Dust Evolution: A Reservoir of Prebiotic Moleculesp. 1
Laboratory Simulations of Grain Icy Mantles Processing by Cosmic Raysp. 33
Physics and Chemistry of Protoplanetary Accretion Disksp. 55
Chemistry of the Solar Nebulap. 75
Early Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceanp. 149
Origin and Evolution of Martian Atmosphere and Climate and Possible Exobiological Experimentsp. 177
The Possible Pathways of the Synthesis of Precursors on the Early Earthp. 185
Physical and Chemical Composition of Comets - From Interstellar Space to the Earthp. 195
Organic Matter in Meteorites: Molecular and Isotopic Analyses of the Murchison Meteoritep. 209
Prebiotic Synthesis in Planetary Environmentsp. 259
Prebiotic Synthesis on Minerals: RNA Oligomer Formationp. 301
Biology and Theory: RNA and the Origin of Lifep. 323
Chirality and the Origins of Lifep. 345
Early Proteinsp. 357
The Beginnings of Life on Earth: Evidence from the Geological Recordp. 389
Indexp. 415
Index of Chemical Speciesp. 423
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792325178
ISBN-10: 0792325176
Series: NATO SCIENCE SERIES SERIES C: MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 423
Published: 31st October 1993
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 17.15  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.93