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Glavin, DP, Cleaves HJ, Schubert M, Aubrey A, Bada JL.  2004.  New method for estimating bacterial cell abundances in natural samples by use of sublimation. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 70:5923-5928.   10.1128/aem.70.10.5923-5928.2004   AbstractWebsite

We have developed a new method based on the sublimation of adenine from Escherichia coli to estimate bacterial cell counts in natural samples. To demonstrate this technique, several types of natural samples, including beach sand, seawater, deep-sea sediment, and two soil samples from the Atacama Desert, were heated to a temperature of 500degreesC for several seconds under reduced pressure. The sublimate was collected on a cold finger, and the amount of adenine released from the samples was then determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV absorbance detection. Based on the total amount of adenine recovered from DNA and RNA in these samples, we estimated bacterial cell counts ranging from similar to10(5) to 10(9) E. coli cell equivalents per gram. For most of these samples, the sublimation-based cell counts were in agreement with total bacterial counts obtained by traditional DA-PI (4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining.

Glavin, DP, Bada JL, Brinton KLF, McDonald GD.  1999.  Amino acids in the Martian meteorite Nakhla. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 96:8835-8838.   10.1073/pnas.96.16.8835   AbstractWebsite

A suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids were detected with high-performance liquid chromatography in the water- and acid-soluble components of an interior fragment of the Martian meteorite Nakhla, which fell in Egypt in 1911. Aspartic and glutamic acids, glycine, alanine, beta-alanine, and gamma-amino-n-butyric acid (gamma-ABA) were the most abundant amino acids detected and were found primarily in the 6 M HCl-hydrolyzed, hot water extract, The concentrations ranged from 20 to 330 parts per billion of bulk meteorite. The amino acid distribution in Nakhla, including the D/L ratios (values range from <0.1 to 0.5), is similar to what is found in bacterially degraded organic matter. The amino acids in Nakhla appear to be derived from terrestrial organic matter that infiltrated the meteorite soon after its fall to Earth, although it is possible that some of the amino acids are endogenous to the meteorite. The rapid amino acid contamination of Martian meteorites after direct exposure to the terrestrial environment has important implications for Mars sample-return missions and the curation of the samples from the time of their delivery to Earth.

Glavin, DP, Bada JL.  1998.  Isolation of amino acids from natural samples using sublimation. Analytical Chemistry. 70:3119-3122.   10.1021/ac9803784   AbstractWebsite

Amino acids have appreciable vapor pressures above 150 degrees C and will sublime under partial vacuum at elevated temperatures without any racemization or decomposition. The recoveries of several amino acids including aspartic acid, serine, glycine, alanine, ol-aminoisobutyric acid, and valine were optimized by varying the temperature and duration of sublimation. Sublimation has been shown to be a rapid and effective technique for the isolation of amino acids from natural samples for enantiomeric analyses and a good substitute for conventional cation-exchange desalting techniques.

McDonald, GD, Bada JL.  1995.  A Search for Endogenous Amino-Acids in the Martian Meteorite Eeta79001. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 59:1179-1184.   10.1016/0016-7037(95)00033-v   AbstractWebsite

The Antarctic shergottite EETA 79001 is believed to be an impact-ejected fragment of the planet Mars. Samples of the carbonate (white druse) and the basaltic (lithology A) components from this meteorite have been found to contain amino acids at a level of approximately 1 ppm and 0.4 ppm, respectively. The detected amino acids consist almost exclusively of the L-enantiomers of the amino acids commonly found in proteins, and are thus terrestrial contaminants. There is no indication of the presence of alpha-aminoisobutyric acid, one of the most abundant amino acids in several carbonaceous chondrites. The relative abundances of amino acids in the druse material resemble those in Antarctic ice, suggesting that the source of the amino acids may be ice meltwater. The level of amino acids in EETA79001 druse is not by itself sufficient to account for the 600-700 ppm of volatile C reported in druse samples and suggested to be from endogenous martian organic material. However, estimates of total terrestrial organic C present in the druse material based on our amino acid analyses and the organic C content of polar ice can account for most of the reported putative organic C in EETA 79001 druse.

Chen, RF, Bada JL, Suzuki Y.  1993.  The Relationship between Dissolved Organic-Carbon (Doc) and Fluorescence in Anoxic Marine Porewaters - Implications for Estimating Benthic Doc Fluxes. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 57:2149-2153.   10.1016/0016-7037(93)90102-3   AbstractWebsite

Fluorescence and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) measurements of porewaters from the Santa Barbara Basin, the Guaymas Basin, and the upper sections of the Nankai Trough suggest that ultraviolet fluorescence (lambda(ex) = 325 nm, lambda(em) = 450 nm) may be used as a first order estimate of DOC in anoxic marine porewaters. The majority of porewater organic carbon appears to be fluorescent, while a constant approximately 1 mM DOC, probably the low molecular weight compounds, is not fluorescent. These data are consistent with a model in which low molecular weight compounds dissolved in porewater act as the common intermediate between labile sedimentary organic matter and remineralization or polymerization products. Fluorescence may also be used to sensitively estimate benthic DOC fluxes to the overlying water column. Results from the Santa Barbara Basin, if representative of global anoxic oceanic regions, indicate that DOC release from anoxic sediments is not a major source of oceanic DOC when compared to internal recycling rates, but may be comparable to external input or permanent removal processes.

Wing, MR, Bada JL.  1991.  Geochromatography on the Parent Body of the Carbonaceous Chondrite Ivuna. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 55:2937-2942.   10.1016/0016-7037(91)90458-h   AbstractWebsite

Ivuna, a CI carbonaceous chondrite, has been found to contain abundant amounts of the three-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) phenanthrene/anthracene, but no detectable levels of the two- and four-ring PAHs naphthalene and pyrene/fluoranthene. Either the three-ring PAHs in Ivuna were synthesized in a process that did not produce the two- or four-ring PAHs, or all these compounds were synthesized together and subsequently separated. Thermodynamical considerations and studies of hydrocarbon pyrolysis and combustion do not support the former possibility. Ivuna and other CI carbonaceous chondrites are known to have been extensively altered by water. The aqueous solubilities suggest that some PAHs would have been mobilized during the aqueous alteration phase in carbonaceous meteorite parent bodies. In a model geochromatography experiment, naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene were partially resolved at a low pressure and flow rate utilizing columns containing crushed serpentine or beach sand, and water for elution. This laboratory geochromatography experiment suggests that complete separation of PAHs could be expected to occur in the parent body of CI carbonaceous chondrites. Such processes on Earth are known to lead to the formation of hydrothermal PAH minerals such as pendletonite. It is proposed that aqueous fluids driven by heat in the parent body of Ivuna migrated from the interior to the surface, in the process transporting, separating, and concentrating PAHs at various zones in the parent body.