Publications

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2003
Lazcano, A, Bada JL.  2003.  The 1953 Stanley L. Miller experiment: Fifty years of prebiotic organic chemistry. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. 33:235-242.   10.1023/a:1024807125069   AbstractWebsite

The field of prebiotic chemistry effectively began with a publication in Science 50 years ago by Stanley L. Miller on the spark discharge synthesis of amino acids and other compounds using a mixture of reduced gases that were thought to represent the components of the atmosphere on the primitive Earth. On the anniversary of this landmark publication, we provide here an accounting of the events leading to the publication of the paper. We also discuss the historical aspects that lead up to the landmark Miller experiment.

2000
Levy, M, Miller SL, Brinton K, Bada JL.  2000.  Prebiotic synthesis of adenine and amino acids under Europa-like conditions. Icarus. 145:609-613.   10.1006/icar.2000.6365   AbstractWebsite

In order to simulate prebiotic synthetic processes on Europa and other ice-covered planets and satellites, we have investigated the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds from dilute solutions of NH(4)CN frozen for 25 years at -20 and -78 degrees C. In addition, the aqueous products of spark discharge reactions from a reducing atmosphere were frozen for 5 years at -20 degrees C. We find that both adenine and guanine, as well as a simple set of amino acids dominated by glycine, are produced in substantial yields under these conditions, These results indicate that some of the key components necessary for the origin of life may have been available on Europa throughout its history and suggest that the circumstellar zone where life might arise may be wider than previously thought. (C) 2000 Academic Press.