Book information

Geochemistry and the Origin of Life

Edited by

S. Nakashima, S. Maruyama, A. Brack and B.F. Windley

Precursor to Challenging Investigation Series No.2 (POCHI-2)
ISBN:4-946443-67-3 Price: around 80 Euro/10,000 yen
Universal Academy Press, Inc., Tokyo, Japan, 2001, 355p.

 The origin of life is one of the unsolved fundamental problems in natural sciences and a frontier of many different disciplines such as planetary sciences, geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biophysics, biochemistry and biology. Therefore, interdisciplinary collaboration is necessary to better understand key questions on the origin of life.
 This book is the proceeding of the international symposium on the Geochemistry and the Origin of Life, held on March 30, 2001 at the Centennial Memorial Building, Tokyo Institute of Technology. This symposium was organized by the Interactive Research Center of Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, by inviting keynote lectures from international experts in biophysics, biochemistry, geochemistry, geology and paleontology. Several posters from young generations were also presented in this subject. This book is not aimed to review the general aspects on the origin of life, but to propose a new synthetic view by assembling several working hypotheses. Therefore, this volume can be regarded as a kind of a tentative starting point for the further development of interdisciplinary sciences.

S. Nakashima . . . . . v
Introduction to: Geochemistry and the Origin of Life
S. Nakashima, A. Brack, M. C. Maurel, S. Maruyama, Y. Isozaki, and B. F. Windley . . . . . 1
Part I: From Space to the Chemical Evolution
Extraterrestrial Organic Molecules and the Origin of Life
A. Brack, B. Barbier, F. Boillot, and A. Chabin . . . . . 17
Oligomerization of Glycine and Synthesis of Amino Acids in Super- and Subcritical Water; Chemical Evolution to the Origin of Life in Submarine Hydrothermal System
D. K. Alargov, S. Deguchi, K. Tsujii, and K. Horikoshi . . . . . 39
Prebiotic Polymerization of Amino Acid Thioesters on Mineral Surfaces
M. Bertrand, C. Bure, F. Fleury, and A. Brack . . . . . 51
Spectroscopic Studies of Amino Acid Reactions on Primitive Earth・Preliminary Results
J. Yamaoka and K. Umemoto . . . . . 61
Hydrothermal Transformation of Threonine in the Presence of Silica: A Simulation Experiment for the Chemical Evolution ofLife
D. Shiota and S. Nakashima . . . . . 71
Dehydration-Condensation Experiments of Silica in the Presence of Biogenic Organic Substances
Y. Ito and S. Nakashima . . . . . 85
Functional Capabilities of Bio-molecules at the Beginnings of Life.RNA selectivity and adaptability
M. C. Maurel . . . . . 107
Interaction of RNA and DNA Hairpins with Mineral Surface in Aqueous Phase Investigated by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
C. El Ami, L. Grajcar, S. Fermandjian, M. Ghomi, M. H. Baron, and M. C. Maurel . . . . . .119
Part II: Geochemical Environments for the Primitive Life
Organic-Inorganic Interactions and the Origin and Evolution of Life
S. Nakashima and D. Shiota . . . . . 135
Physico-chemical Environment of an Archean Mid-Ocean Ridge: Estimate of Seawater Depth and Hydrothermal Fluid Composition
K. Kitajima, S. Utunomiya, and S. Maruyama . . . . . 179
Early Archean (ca. 3.5 Ga) Microfossils and 13C-depleted carbonaceous Matter in the North Pole Area, Western Australia: Field Occurrence and Geochemistry
Y. Ueno, S. Maruyama, Y. Isozaki and H. Yurimoto . . . . . 203
Isotopic Signatures of Early Life in the Archean Oceans: Influence from Submarine Hydrothermal Activities
T. Kakegawa . . . . . 237
Manganese Micronodules Containing Organic Matter in an Archean Banded-Iron Formation
H. Yoshioka, M. Kumazawa, K. Ohta, and N. Handa . . . . . 251
Isoprenoid Enantiomers as Molecular Biomarkers in Ancient Sediments
U. Meierhenrich, W. Thiemann, C. Schubert, B. Barbier, and A. Brack . . . . . 269
History of the Earth and Life
S. Maruyama, Y. Isozaki, S. Nakashima, and B. F. Windley . . . . . 285
Part III: Summary
Geochemistry and the Origin and Evolution of Life: A Tentative Summary and Future Perspectives
S. Nakashima, M. Ikoma, D. Shiota, K. Nakazawa, and S. Maruyama . . . . . 329
Symposium Program . . . . . 347
List of Participants . . . . . .351
Author Index . . . . . .355