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Isotopic analyses of amino acids from the Murchison meteorite

Pizzarello, S. and Krishnamurthy, R. V. and Epstein, S. and Cronin, J. R. (1991) Isotopic analyses of amino acids from the Murchison meteorite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 55 (3). pp. 905-910. ISSN 0016-7037. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(91)90350-E.

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Previous isotopic analyses of the total amino acids of the Murchison meteorite showed these compounds to be substantially enriched in ^2H, ^(13)C, and ^(15)N relative to terrestrial organic matter. These analyses have been repeated (^2H, ^(13)C) with inclusion of an ultrafiltration step to exclude the possibility that a fine paniculate contaminant carried the isotopic excesses observed in the previous work. In addition, the meteorite amino acids were chromatographically separated to rule out the possibility that the isotopic enrichment of the meteorite extract could reside in basic compounds other than amino acids. The results indicate that the Murchison amino acids are truly isotopically unusual, that the isotopic excesses reside in at least several different amino acids, and that the isotopic contents of some of these amino acids reach values of about +40%. (δ^(13)C) and +2500%. (δD). If it is assumed that the high deuterium content of the meteorite ɑ - amino acids is a result of the synthesis of their molecular precursors by low temperature ion-molecule reactions in an interstellar cloud, their formation by aqueous phase Strecker reactions in the parent body is consistent with their general characteristics and with known parent body processes.

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Additional Information:© 1991 Pergamon Press plc. Received October 19, 1990; accepted in revised form January 28, 1991. We thank E. Olson (Field Museum of Natural History) for providing the Murchison sample and P. R. Buseck for a helpful discussion. We appreciate constructive reviews by J. L. Bada, N. E. Blair, D. J. Des Marais, and J. F. Kerridge and gratefully acknowledge grants in support of this work from the Life Sciences Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NSG-7255; NAGW-1899). Editorial handling: G. Faure
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NASA Life Sciences DivisionNSG-7255
NASA Life Sciences DivisionNAGW-1899
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Center for Meteorite Studies123
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131112-100210022
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Official Citation:S. Pizzarello, R.V. Krishnamurthy, S. Epstein, J.R. Cronin, Isotopic analyses of amino acids from the Murchison meteorite, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 55, Issue 3, March 1991, Pages 905-910, ISSN 0016-7037, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42374
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:12 Nov 2013 18:37
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:22

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