Peptides can form in galaxies!

En faisant appel à une réaction chimique différente de celles imaginées jusqu’ici, des chercheurs de l’Institut Max Planck (Allemagne) montrent comment des peptides peuvent de former sur des poussières interstellaires. © Kakteen, Adobe Stock

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[EN VIDÉO] What events are at the origin of life?
As early as 1871, Charles Darwin imagined that terrestrial life could have originated in a “small pond” that combines various chemical compounds to form complex molecules. Another school of thought – Ponspermia – came to life from space. Today, the question remains unresolved, but scientists are leaning towards Darwin with a prebiotic chemistry.

The Protein Is the basis of life. From Large molecules Made by the order of Peptides… today, Max Planck Institutional Researchers (Germany) This shows how peptides appear on the icy surface of galaxy dust. From a new format Chemical reaction. This reinforces the notion that the first bricks of life appeared in space.

Researchers say that the ice sheet naturally forms around the floodwaters Interstellar medium Plays an important role. Because it’s like one “Lab Chemistry CosmicA foot molecule Molecules Can accumulate and come closer to each other. Until chemical reactions occur.

To understand how complex the molecules that form in this way become, researchers first, almost a decade ago, developed a technique for production.Atoms Low energy carbon (C) filters are suitable for low temperature tests. “These carbon atoms are amazing Reactions. They act as a genre “Molecular glue” Thus converting minerals into organic matter.Comments Sergei Krosnokutsky, AstronomerIn one Max Planck Institute Press Release.

From glycine to peptides

With the support of theoretical calculations, his team has already shown in 2020 Wisteria – I ‘Amino acid Simple, but it plays an important role Life on Earth – Galactic dust may form on grains. Why not imagine that amino acids can form even more complex molecules? For example, peptides.

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Maybe the process is not so easy. So the Polymerization Occurs, said amino acids must be released from their water molecules to form a chain of amino acids. It requires energy, so it has a higher temperature than the dust grains found in the galaxy.

However, quantum chemical calculations can change the reaction under existing conditions in these environments Carbon monoxide (CO), carbon (C) andAmmonia (NH3) Precursor to glycine – glycine (H) which does not contain a single water molecule2O) – occurs spontaneously byTunnel effect. To verify that this form of glycine could finally form peptides – without losing water … that it did not receive -, then had to resort to testing in an intense vacuum chamber.

From theory to experience

On a bromide disk Potassium The researchers, 2.5 cm in diameter and 2 mm thick, deposited carbon monoxide, carbon and ammonia. Layer of a few dozen molecules. They cooled the whole thing to about 10 Kelvins. Using one Spectrograph Infrared, they observed the formation of the glycine precursor they expected.

The researchers reheated the whole thing. At approximately 110 Kelvin, spectroscopy Infrared Shows telltale signs of being a type Chemical bonding It holds amino acids together in both short molecular chains of peptides and long chains of proteins. Again in stellar media, when can such warming occur a Star Begins to form. Or when dust falls on the surface of a planet, Again For example the comet.

In this new scenario of creation The first molecules of life Proposed by Max Institute researchers Board So only relied on Species Atomic and molecular molecules are very abundant in the galaxy. This no longer requires a power input. It is now necessary to test whether peptides other than glycine-based peptides may be released.

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