NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Chiral Determination of Amino Acids Using X-Ray Diffraction of Thin FilmsThe astrobiological search for life, both extinct and extant, on other solar system bodies will take place via several planned lander missions to Mars Europa and Titan. The detection and identification of organic molecules that have been associated with life is a major technical challenge. Terrestrial life utilizes organic molecules, such as amino acids, as its basic building block. Amino acids can be synthesized by natural processes as is demonstrated by their detection in meteoritic material. In this process, the organic molecules are produced roughly in a even mixture of D and L forms. Biological process, however, can utilize almost uniquely one form or the other. In terrestrial biology, only the L-amino acids is common in biological processes. If signature of life existed elsewhere in the D form it then be concluded that life had evolutionary beginning on that body. Detection of an enantiomeric excess of L over D would also be a powerful sign that life had existed on that body at one time.
Document ID
20030111040
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Dragoi, D. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Kulleck, J. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Kanik, I. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Beegle, L. W. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Exobiology
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle20030110578Analytic PrimaryLunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Document Inquiry