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No. 52: Jul-Aug 1987

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Meteorites Also Transport Organic Payloads

Excerpts from the Abstract of a paper printed in Nature:

"Much effort has been directed to analyses of organic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites because of their implications for orgainc chemical evolution and the origin of life. We have determined the isotopic composition of hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon in amino acid and monocarboxylic extracts from the Murchison meteorite.

"These results confirm the extraterrestrial origin of both classes of compounds, and provide the first evidence suggesting a direct relationship between the massive organo-synthesis occurring in interstellar clouds and the presence of pre-biotic compounds in primitive planetary bodies."

(Epstein, S., et al; "Unusual Stable Isotope Ratios in Amino Acid and Carboxylic Acid Extracts from the Murchison Meteorite," Nature, 326:477, 1987.)

From Science Frontiers #52, JUL-AUG 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss