• Publications
  • Influence
Racemic amino acids from the ultraviolet photolysis of interstellar ice analogues
A laboratory demonstration that glycine, alanine and serine naturally form from ultraviolet photolysis of the analogues of icy interstellar grains is reported, suggesting that at least some meteoritic amino acids are the result of interstellar photochemistry, rather than formation in liquid water on an early Solar System body.
Carbonaceous meteorites contain a wide range of extraterrestrial nucleobases
The results demonstrate that the purines detected in meteorites are consistent with products of ammonium cyanide chemistry, which provides a plausible mechanism for their synthesis in the asteroid parent bodies, and strongly supports an extraterrestrial origin.
Enrichment of the amino acid l-isovaline by aqueous alteration on CI and CM meteorite parent bodies
  • D. Glavin, J. Dworkin
  • Medicine, Chemistry
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 7 April 2009
The large asymmetry in isovaline and other α-dialkyl amino acids found in altered CI and CM meteorites suggests that amino acids delivered by asteroids, comets, and their fragments would have biased the Earth's prebiotic organic inventory with left-handed molecules before the origin of life.
The first cell membranes.
The first forms of cellular life required self-assembled membranes that were likely to have been produced from amphiphilic compounds on the prebiotic Earth, and laboratory simulations show that such vesicles readily encapsulate functional macromolecules, including nucleic acids and polymerases.
The Photostability of Amino Acids in Space
Organic compounds observed in the interstellar medium and in solar system bodies are of particular importance for revealing the chemistry that may have led to life’s origin. Among these compounds,
OSIRIS-REx: Sample Return from Asteroid (101955) Bennu
In May of 2011, NASA selected the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission as the third mission in the New
The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite
The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) addresses the chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere and volatiles extracted from solid samples. The
Comet 81P/Wild 2 Under a Microscope
The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile
Organics Captured from Comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust Spacecraft
The presence of deuterium and nitrogen-15 excesses suggest that some organics have an interstellar/protostellar heritage and a diverse suite of organic compounds is present and identifiable within the returned samples.
Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars
Chlorinated hydrocarbons identified in the Sheepbed mudstone by SAM are the reaction products of Martian chlorine and organic carbon derived from Martian sources or exogenous sources such as meteorites, comets, or interplanetary dust particles.