Origins of life

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 191–196 | Cite as

Formation of biologically relevant carboxylic acids during the gamma irradiation of acetic acid

  • Alicia Negron-Mendoza
  • Cyril Ponnamperuma


Irradiation of aqueous solutions of acetic acid with gamma rays produced several carboxylic acids in small yield. Their identification was based on the technique of gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. Some of these acids are Krebs Cycle intermediates. Their simultaneous formation in experiments simulating the primitive conditions on the earth suggests that metabolic pathways may have had their origin in prebiotic chemical processes.


Acetic Chromatography Aqueous Solution Mass Spectrometry Acetic Acid 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alicia Negron-Mendoza
    • 1
  • Cyril Ponnamperuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Chemical Evolution, Department of ChemistryUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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