Astrochemistry: April 2014

Glycine (NH2CH2COOH) is the simplest amino acid relevant for life. Its detection in the interstellar medium is key to understand the formation mechanisms of pre-biotic molecules and their subsequent delivery onto planetary systems.

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

A study published this week in PLOS ONE authored by Dr. Henry Sun and his postdoctoral student Dr. Gaosen Zhang of Nevada based research institute DRI provides new evidence that Earth bacteria can do something that is quite unusual.

It is well-known that stars with giant planets are on average more metal-rich than stars without giant planets, whereas stars with detected low-mass planets do not need to be metal-rich.

The nitrogen to carbon (N/C) and nitrogen to oxygen (N/O) ratios are the most sensitive quantities to mixing in stellar interiors of intermediate and massive stars.

In this work, we studied the stability of the glycine molecule in the crystalline zwitterion form, known as {alpha}-glycine (+ NH3 CH2 COO− ) under action of heavy cosmic ray analogs.