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Life 2013, 3(2), 331-345; doi:10.3390/life3020331

Prebiotic Chemistry: Geochemical Context and Reaction Screening

Earth Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
Received: 12 April 2013 / Revised: 17 April 2013 / Accepted: 18 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
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Abstract

The origin of life on Earth is widely believed to have required the reactions of organic compounds and their self- and/or environmental organization. What those compounds were remains open to debate, as do the environment in and process or processes by which they became organized. Prebiotic chemistry is the systematic organized study of these phenomena. It is difficult to study poorly defined phenomena, and research has focused on producing compounds and structures familiar to contemporary biochemistry, which may or may not have been crucial for the origin of life. Given our ignorance, it may be instructive to explore the extreme regions of known and future investigations of prebiotic chemistry, where reactions fail, that will relate them to or exclude them from plausible environments where they could occur. Come critical parameters which most deserve investigation are discussed.
Keywords: chemical evolution; prebiotic organic reactions-prebiotic reactions in the aqueous phase; prebiotic reactions in the solid state; energy sources on the primitive Earth; mineral catalysis chemical evolution; prebiotic organic reactions-prebiotic reactions in the aqueous phase; prebiotic reactions in the solid state; energy sources on the primitive Earth; mineral catalysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Cleaves, H.J., II. Prebiotic Chemistry: Geochemical Context and Reaction Screening. Life 2013, 3, 331-345.

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