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Unusual stable isotope ratios in amino acid and carboxylic acid extracts from the Murchison meteorite

Epstein, S. and Krishnamurthy, R. V. and Cronin, J. R. and Pizzarello, S. and Yuen, G. U. (1987) Unusual stable isotope ratios in amino acid and carboxylic acid extracts from the Murchison meteorite. Nature, 326 (6112). pp. 477-479. ISSN 0028-0836. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140311-140931135

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Abstract

Much effort has been directed to analyses of organic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites because of their implications for organic chemical evolution and the origin of life. We have determined the isotopic composition of hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon in amino acid and monocarboxylic acid extracts from the Murchison meteorite. The unusually high D/H and ^(15)N/^(14)N ratios in the amino acid fraction (δD = 1,370‰, after correction for isotope exchange; δ^(15)N = 90) are uniquely characteristic of known interstellar organic materials. The δD value of the monocarboxylic acid fraction is lower (377‰), but still consistent with an interstellar origin. These results confirm the extraterrestrial origin of both classes of compound, and provide the first evidence suggesting a direct relationship between the massive organo-synthesis occurring in interstellar clouds and the presence of pre-biotic compounds in primitive planetary bodies. The isotope data also bear on the historical problem of distinguishing indigenous material from terrestrial contaminants.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/326477a0DOIArticle
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v326/n6112/abs/326477a0.htmlPublisherArticle
Additional Information:© 1987 Nature Publishing Group. Received 18 August; accepted 26 January 1987. Work at the California Institute of Technology was supported by NASA grant NAG 9-46, and work at Arizona State University was supported by NASA grant NSG 7255.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAG 9-46
NASANSG 7255
Issue or Number:6112
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140311-140931135
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140311-140931135
Official Citation:Unusual stable isotope ratios in amino acid and carboxylic acid extracts from the Murchison meteorite 477-479 S. Epstein, R. V. Krishnamurthy, J. R. Cronin, S. Pizzarello & G. U. Yuen doi:10.1038/326477a0
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44253
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Mar 2014 21:38
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:15

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