The presence of amino acids on the prebiotic Earth is widely accepted, either coming from endogenous chemical processes or being delivered by extraterrestrial material. On the other hand, plausibly prebiotic pathways to peptides often rely on different aqueous approaches where condensation of amino acids is thermodynamically unfavorable. Now, chemists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI), in collaboration with colleagues from Xellia Pharmaceuticals, have shown that solid-state mechanochemical activation of glycine and alanine in combination with mineral surfaces leads to the formation of peptides.
This research shows for the first time the usefulness of mechanochemical activation for the prebiotic synthesis of larger biomolecules such as peptides. The results of the research have been published in the prestigious scientific journal Angewandte Chemie.
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