Polymer amide in the Allende and Murchison meteorites

McGeoch, J. E. M. and McGeoch, M. W.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science.
doi: 10.1111/maps.12558


“It has been proposed that exothermic gas phase polymerization of amino acids can occur in the conditions of a warm dense molecular cloud to form hydrophobic polymer amide (HPA) (McGeoch and McGeoch 2014). In a search for evidence of this presolar chemistry Allende and Murchison meteorites and a volcano control were diamond burr-etched and Folch extracted for potential HPA yielding 85 unique peaks in the meteorite samples via matrix-assisted laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF/MS). The amino acids after acid hydrolysis in Allende were below the level of detection but many of the Allende peaks via the more sensitive MALDI/TOF analysis could be fitted to a polymer combination of glycine, alanine, and alpha-hydroxyglycine with high statistical significance. A similar significant fit using these three amino acids could not be applied to the Murchison data indicating more complex polymer chemistry.”