Shielding biomolecules from effects of radiation by Mars analogue minerals and soils

  title={Shielding biomolecules from effects of radiation by Mars analogue minerals and soils},
  author={G{\"o}zen Ertem and Merve Ertem and Christopher P. McKay and Robert M. Hazen},
  journal={International Journal of Astrobiology},
  pages={280 - 285}
Abstract Organic compounds have been delivered over time to Mars via meteorites, comets and interplanetary dust particles. The fate of organic material on the surface of Mars must be affected by the Martian environment, in particular by ultraviolet (UV) and other ionizing radiation. Penetration depth of UV radiation into soils is in the sub-millimetre to millimetre range and depends on the properties of the soil. The aim of this research is to study the possible protective role of Martian… 

Detection and Degradation of Adenosine Monophosphate in Perchlorate-Spiked Martian Regolith Analogue, by Deep-Ultraviolet Spectroscopy.

The results confirm that clays are effective preservers of organic material and should be considered high-value targets, but that pristine biosignatures may be altered within 1 sol of martian UV exposure, with implications for Mars 2020 science operations and sample caching.

Constraining the preservation of organic compounds in Mars analog nontronites after exposure to acid and alkaline fluids

It is demonstrated that smectite previously exposed to fluids with different pH values influences how glycine is adsorbed into their interlayer regions, affecting their potential for preservation of organic compounds under contemporary Mars surface conditions.

Rapid Radiolytic Degradation of Amino Acids in the Martian Shallow Subsurface: Implications for the Search for Extinct Life.

It is suggested that even low-molecular-weight amino acids could degrade in just ∼20 million years in the top 10 cm of the martian surface regolith and rock, and even faster if the material contains elevated abundances of hydrated silicate minerals or perchlorates.

Catalytic/Protective Properties of Martian Minerals and Implications for Possible Origin of Life on Mars

It turns out that the fate of molecular biosignatures on Mars depends on a delicate balance between multiple preservation and degradation mechanisms, often regulated by minerals, which may take place simultaneously.

Role of Mineral Surfaces in Prebiotic Processes and Space-Like Conditions

The study of the interactions between organic molecules and minerals is fundamental to unravel the prebiotic processes that led to the emergence of life on Earth or possibly on other planets. Mineral

Carotenoid Raman Signatures are Better Preserved in Dried Cells of the Desert Cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis than in Hydrated Counterparts after High-Dose Gamma Irradiation

It is shown here that desiccation can protect carotenoid Raman signatures in the desert cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis sp.

Planning Implications Related to Sterilization-Sensitive Science Investigations Associated with Mars Sample Return (MSR).

There are categories of measurements that can be fruitful despite sample sterilization and other categories that cannot, and targeted investigations using analogs of MSR Campaign-relevant returned-sample types should be undertaken to fill knowledge gaps about sterilization effects on important scientific measurements.



Amino acid photostability on the Martian surface

Abstract— In the framework of international planetary exploration programs, several space missions are planned to search for organics and bio‐signatures on Mars. Previous attempts have not detected

Perchlorate radiolysis on Mars and the origin of martian soil reactivity.

It is concluded that neither hydrogen peroxide nor superoxide is required to explain the results of the Viking biology experiments, and calcium perchlorate exposed to gamma rays decomposes in a CO2 atmosphere to form hypochlorite, trapped oxygen, and chlorine dioxide.

Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane emissions from meteorites and the Martian atmosphere

Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane formation from meteorites could explain a substantial fraction of the most recently estimated atmospheric methane mixing ratios and stable hydrogen isotope analysis unambiguously confirms that the methane released from Murchison is of extraterrestrial origin.

Anoxic photochemical oxidation of siderite generates molecular hydrogen and iron oxides

It is proposed that the photochemistry of Earth-abundant minerals with wide band gaps would have potentially played a critical role in shaping the biogeochemical evolution of early Earth.

Correlation between the extent of catalytic activity and charge density of montmorillonites.

Results demonstrate that catalytic activity of montMorillonites with lower charge density is superior to that of higher charge density montmorillonite.

High molecular weight organic matter in martian meteorites

Presidential Address to the Mineralogical Society of America, Salt Lake City, October 18, 2005: Mineral surfaces and the prebiotic selection and organization of biomolecules

This review considers three aspects of the self-assembly of lipids, which may be enhanced in the presence of minerals; the role of minerals in polymerization of amino acids and nucleic acids; and the selective adsorption of organic species, including chiral molecules, onto mineral surfaces.

Detection of Perchlorate and the Soluble Chemistry of Martian Soil at the Phoenix Lander Site

Results suggest that the soil at the Phoenix landing site must have suffered alteration through the action of liquid water in geologically the recent past, and revealed an alkaline environment in contrast to that found by the Mars Exploration Rovers, indicating that many different environments have existed on Mars.