Gordon Schlesinger

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The electric discharge synthesis of HCN, H2CO, NH3 and urea has been investigated using various mixtures of CH4, CO, CO2, N2, NH3, H2O, and H2. HCN and H2CO were each synthesized in yields as high as 10% from CH4 as a carbon source. Similar yields were obtained from CO when H2/CO>1.0 and from CO2 when H2/CO2>2.0 At H2/CO2<1.0 the yields fall off(More)
Amino and hydroxy acids have been identified in the Murchison meteorite. Their presence is consistent with a synthetic pathway involving aldehydes, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia in an aqueous environment (Strecker-cyanohydrin synthesis). From the various equilibrium and rate constants involved in this synthesis, four independent estimates of the ammonium(More)
The reaction of NH3 and SO sup2− inf3 with ethylene sulfide is shown to be a prebiotic synthesis of cysteamine and 2-mercaptoethanesulfonic acid (coenzyme M). A similar reaction with ethylene imine would give cysteamine and taurine. Ethylene oxide would react with NH3 and N(CH3)3 to give the phospholipid components ethanolamine and choline. The prebiotic(More)
Yields based on carbon are usually reported in prebiotic experiments, while energy yields (moles cal−1) are more useful in estimating the yields of products that would have been obtained from the primitive atmosphere of the earth. Energy yields for the synthesis of HCN and H2CO from a spark discharge were determined for various mixtures of CH4, CO, CO2, H2,(More)
Pantoic acid can by synthesized in good prebiotic yield from isobutyraldehyde or α-ketoisovaleric acid + H2CO + HCN. Isobutyraldehyde is the Strecker precursor to valine and α-ketoisovaleric acid is the valine transamination product. Mg2+ and Ca2+ as well as several transition metals are catalysts for the α-ketoisovaleric acid reaction. Pantothenic acid is(More)
The prebiotic synthesis of pantoic acid [HOCH2(CH3)2CH(OH)COOH], a constituent of Coenzyme A, has been investigated. High yields of pantoic acid (up to 57%) can be obtained from the reaction of the prebiotic reagents isobutryaldehyde, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide in aqueous solution at room temperature. Similar yields can be obtained when(More)
The prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds using a spark discharge on various simulated prebiotic atmospheres at 25 degrees has been studied. Methane mixtures contained H2 + CH4 + H2O + N2 + NH3 with H2/CH4 molar ratios from 0 to 4 and pNH3 = 0.1 torr. A similar set of experiments without added NH3 was performed. The yields of amino acids (1.2 to 4.7%(More)
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