Brandes, J. A. Carnegie Institution of Washington, brandes@gl.ciw.edu
Boctor, N. A. Carnegie Institution of Washington,
Cody, G. D. Carnegie Institution of Washington,
Hazen, R. M. Carnegie Institution of Washington,
Yoder, Jr, H. S. Carnegie Institution of Washington,

 
THE ROLE OF MINERALS IN HYDROTHERMAL SYSTEMS IN GOVERNING BIOMOLECULE STABILITY
 
Hydrothermal systems have been hypothesized as locations for the genesis of life. However, few experiments have been conducted that examine the interplay of biologically important compounds with minerals associated with these systems. It is of particular importance to understand the factors controlling the longevity of biomolecules involved with basic enzymatic processes and cellular cycles in order to constrain the conditions under which primitive live may have arisen in these extreme systems. We investigated the interplay between sulfide minerals and biochemicals, including TCA cycle intermediates and amino acids, using sealed gold tube reactors incubated at pressures and temperatures relevant to hydrothermal systems. The results indicate that mineral composition can exert a strong effect upon the stability of otherwise short lived biomolecules , extending their lifespans under hot (>100oC), high pressure conditions. The experimental results will be discussed within a framework of modern theories of the hydrothermal origins of life.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: 09:00 - 09:15am
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS27TU0900S