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A reexamination of amino acids in lunar soilAmino acids in lunar soils provide an important indicator of the level of prebiotic organic compounds on the moon. The results provide insight into the chemistry of amino acid precursors, and furthermore, given the flux of carbonaceous material to the moon, we can evaluate the survival of organics upon impact. The amino acid contents of both hydrolyzed and unhydrolyzed hot-water extracts of Apollo 17 lunar soil were determined using ophthaldialdehyde/N-acetyl cysteine (OPA/NAC) derivatization followed by HPLC analysis. Previous studies of lunar amino acids were inconclusive, as the technique used (derivatization with ninhydrin followed by HPLC analysis) was unable to discriminate between cosmogenic amino acids and terrestrial contaminants. Cosmogenic amino acids are racemic, and many of the amino acids found in carbonaceous meteorites such as Murchison, i.e., alpha-amino-i-butyric acid (aib), are extremely rare on Earth. The ninhydrin method does not distinguish amino acid enantiomers, nor does it detect alpha-alkyl amino acids such as aib, whereas the OPA/NAC technique does both.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Brinton, K. L. F.
(Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, CA, United States)
Bada, J. L.
(Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, CA, United States)
Arnold, J. R.
(California Univ. San Diego, La Jolla., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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