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 TITLE: Sonochemistry on primordial Earth – Its potential role in prebiotic molecular evolution

 AUTHORS: Ben-Amots, N. Anbar, M. (1927-2014)

 SOURCE: Ultrasonic Sonochemistry, v. 14, No. 5, pp. 672-675 ( July 2007).

 ABSTRACT: Sonochemical processes are known to occur in nature and have occurred ever since there was liquid water on Earth. We advance a hypothesis that complex carbonaceous compounds, the probable precursors of life, were produced from simple primordial molecules by sonochemical processes in breaking waves of primordial seas or oceans. Our calculations show that these processes were much more common on Earth than other pathways, suggested for the formation of prebiotic complex carbonaceous compounds. The high occurrence rate of sonochemical events in breaking sea waves and the qualitative difference between sonochemical processes and other shock phenomena might have enabled formation of a variety of complex carbonaceous compounds, including amino acids, nucleotides and nucleosides, the precursors of RNA or DNA.

 CONCLUSIONS: We have shown that the possibility that prebiotic complex carbonaceus compounds, formed in breaking sea and ocean waves by sonochemistry, may be highly relevant for evolvement of life on Earth's surface.

 KEYWORDS: Sonochemistry; Prebiotic; Carbonaceous compounds; Cavitation; Waves; Oceans; Origin of life

  Link to fulltext

 23 references
Anbar, M. (1927-2014), "Cavitation during impact of liquid water on water: Geochemical implications," Science, v. 161, pp. 1343-1344 (1968)
and more 22 references.

 Editorial Note, by Timothy J. Mason (Editor-in-chief of the journal "Ultrasonics Sonochemistry"):
In this issue we are introducing a new section for this Journal (Ultrasonics Sonochemistry), Discussion Papers. It is our intention that the occasional publication of articles in this section will cover topics which do not fit into the mainstream of Sonochemistry thinking and research. It is hoped that our readers will approach this new venture with an open mind and if they wish to comment on any of the points raised in these articles, each response will be considered for future publication in the Journal.
Timothy J. Mason (Editor-in-chief)

 CITATION: "The most significant outcome of the present study is that it underpins the hypothesis put forward by Ben-Amots and Anbar (2007) that cavitation chemistry could have been responsible for creating the first complex organic molecules on Earth and hence have been involved in the abiogenesis of life."
Dharmarathne and Grieser, J. Phys. Chem. A, v. 120, pp. 191-199 (2016) (see title below)

Mawson, Raymond, & Knoerzer, Kai, "A brief history of the application of ultrasonics in food processing,"
19th International Congress on Acoustics, Madrid (September 2-7, 2007) link to fulltext

Pedro, Cintas, "On Cavitation and Chirality: A Further Assessment,"
Cryst. Growth Des., v. 8, No. 8, pp. 2626–2627 (July 4, 2008). See p. 2627

He, Yuanhua, "Synthesis of nanoparticles and degradation of organic pollutants,
Ph.D. thesis, Univ. of Melbourne, Australia (4.2009)

Dharmarathne, Lennu, and Grieser, Franz,
"Formation of amino acids on the sonolysis of aqueous solutions containing acetic acid, methane, or carbon dioxide, in the presence of nitrogen gas,"
J. Phys. Chem. A, v. 120, pp. 191-199 (2016)

 RESPOSES (one sentence of):
Prof. Franz Grieser: I was very pleased that we could confirm the hypothesis. July 2016
Prof. Ariel Anbar: No doubt, my father would have been pleased. July 2016

AUTHOR'S COMMENTS (not included in the paper):
Ben-Amots: In his paper (Anbar, 1968) Anbar firstly suggested in the journal "Science"
that cavitation in breaking sea and ocean waves produced the first prebiotic complex compounds. Sorrowfully Anbar passed away October 2014, before he could be told about the confirmation of his hypothesis.

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