Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_375-3



Cyanamide is a simple compound (H 2NCN) formed by the irradiation of cyanide. Cyanamide has been detected in the interstellar medium (see Molecules in Space) and has been shown to be an effective condensation agent for both peptides and nucleotides. Reaction of cyanamide with water yields urea:
$$ {\mathrm{H}}_2\mathrm{N}\mathrm{C}\mathrm{N}+{\mathrm{H}}_2\mathrm{O}\to {\mathrm{H}}_2{\mathrm{NCONH}}_2 $$


Bioorganic Chemistry Interstellar Medium Water Yield Simple Compound Hydrogen Cyanamide 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-kuTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Blue Marble Space Institute of ScienceWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Chemical EvolutionGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA