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Murchison meteorite, 40 years after unprecedented molecular diversity of extraterrestrial organic matter

Publication ID 9906
Abstract Numerous descriptions of organic molecules present in Murchison meteorite have improved our understanding of the early interstellar chemistry that operated at or just before the birth of our solar system. However, all molecular analyses were so far targeted towards selected classes of compounds with a particular emphasis on biologically active components in the context of prebiotic chemistry. Here we demonstrate that a non-targeted ultrahigh resolution molecular analysis of the solvent-accessible organic fraction of Murchison extracted under mild conditions allows one to extend its indigenous chemical diversity to tens of thousands of different molecular compositions and likely millions of diverse structures. This unparalleled molecular complexity, which provides hints on heteroatoms chronological assembly, suggests that extraterrestrial combinatorial chemistry extends beyond the limitations of terrestrial biologically relevant chemical space.
ISSN ISBN 0027-8424
Publisher Month 03
Status published
Publication Reference journal article
Year of Publication 2009
Authors Schmitt-Kopplin, P., Gabelica, Z., Gougeon, R., Fekete, A., Kanawati, B., Harir, M., Gebefügi, I., Eckel, G., Hertkorn, N.