Chiral 480 nm absorption in the hemoglycin space polymer: a possible link to replicationOPEN ACCESS 

Julie E. M. McGeoch & Malcolm W. McGeoch

Scientific Reports, Volume 12, Article number: 16198
Published: 28 September 2022


“A 1494 Dalton hemoglycin space polymer of Glycine18 Hydroxy-glycine4 Fe2O4 termed the “core unit” is part of a polymer of Glycine, Si, Fe and O that forms tubes, vesicles and a lattice structure. It has been isolated from four different CV3 meteorites and characterized by mass spectrometry, FIB/SIMS and X-ray analysis. In quantum calculations (HF and DF wB97X-D 6-31G) the polymer has an absorption at 480 nm that is dependent on rectus “R” (= dextro D) chirality in a hydroxy glycine residue whose C-terminus is bonded to an iron atom. The absorption originates in the Fe II state as a consequence of chiral symmetry breaking. In confirmation of theory, measurements at Diamond Light Source UK, on crystals of hemoglycin derived from Acfer-086 and Sutter’s Mill meteorites have shown a strong 483 ± 3 nm absorption that confirms the proposed location of hydroxy glycine residues within the polymer. A high 483 nm to 580 nm absorption ratio points to an “R” chirality excess in hemoglycin, suggesting that 480 nm photons could have provided the energy for its replication in the protoplanetary disc.”