• 04 NOV 18
    • 0
    SPRAY Simulation of prebiotic chemical reactions catalyzed by aqueous aerosols

    SPRAY Simulation of prebiotic chemical reactions catalyzed by aqueous aerosols

    In the absence of any biological catalyst, key condensation reactions involved in the synthesis of peptide and nucleic acid polymers are extremely unfavorable thermodynamically and kinetically in dilute aqueous conditions. One of the key challenges in prebiotic chemistry is therefore to elucidate how their simple building blocks can be abiotically concentrated and undergo polymerization. Recent experiments have suggested that aqueous aerosols could provide just the right conditions to address both effects. This project proposes to combine theoretical chemistry and molecular dynamics simulations to study two paradigm prebiotic reactions, respectively ribose phosphorylation and peptide bond formation, and to contrast the droplet environment with bulk water dilute conditions. Both the catalytic effect of the aqueous interface on the activated reaction and the confinement effect on the diffusion of the reacting partners within the droplet will be examined.

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