Theoretical and experimental studies on the origin of life

Grant Agency
Grant Agency of the Czech Republic
Molecular Spectroscopy and Photochemistry.
Year from
Year to
Current application is intended to serve as a continuation of our ongoing project GACR P208/10/2302, which was dealt with the combined experimental-theoretical investigation of the prebiotic synthesis of nucleobases from formamide in a high-energy-density event, like a meteoritic impact on early Earth atmospheres. Now we will use the same approach to elucidate the plausibility of a similar high-energy chemistry to create simple C2-C12 amphiphiles, which could form the first protocell membranes. In addition, we will address the problem of glycolaldehyde-synthesis over metal-oxides, with the aim to find reaction conditions, which could lead to the accumulation of this key precursor of sugars in the prebiotic soup. Further, based on high-level quantum chemical calculations we plan to provide a theoretical rationale for the conversion of cytidine to uridine in the Sutherland-synthesis, as well as to investigate the prebiotic plausibility of nucleosidephosphorylation in various non-aqueous solvent environments.

RNDr. Ferus Martin Ph.D.

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