Dehydration study of Layered Double Hydroxides intercalated with Amino Acids:... into the Origin of Life.

Dehydration study of Layered Double Hydroxides intercalated with Amino Acids: insights
into the Origin of Life.
Valentina Erastova(1), Matteo T Degiacomi(2), H Christopher Greenwell(1)
(1) Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK
(2) Department of Chemistry, Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford,
South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QZ, UK
The role of mineral surfaces in concentrating and facilitating the polymerisation of simple
protobiomolecules during the Hadean and Archean has been the subject of much research, in
order to constrain the conditions that may have led to the Origin of Life. In this work we examine
the behaviour of layered double hydroxide minerals intercalated with six amino acids, upon
wetting-drying cycles of the early Earth environment. We use molecular dynamics to highlight the
trends and the differences in behaviour of the range of amino acids and their adsorption
mechanisms onto the surfaces. We also show how structural rearrangements occur through the
dehydration and we assess the potential for further formation of peptide bonds.
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