Nitrogen Heterocycles and the Pre-RNA World

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2016

Faculty Sponsor

Michael Callahan


It has been suggested that the first informational macromolecule on early Earth were composed of different nucleobases and a backbone different from ribose phosphate due to the difficulties of finding a plausible prebiotic synthesis. Therefore, we investigated the chemistry of nitrogen heterocycles in the presence of different organic compounds that may have been present in oceans on early Earth. Reaction products were analyzed by direct infusion to an electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. We will present our latest results and their implications for the pre-RNA World and origin of life.

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