Quantum Dots in Peroxidase-like Chemistry and Formamide-Based Hot Spring Synthesis of Nucleobases
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Quantum dots (QDs) are usually seen as artificial semiconductor particles exhibiting optical and electronic properties interesting for nanotechnological applications. However, they may also play a role in prebiotic chemistry. Starting from zinc acetate, cadmium acetate, and mercaptosuccinic acid, we demonstrate the formation of ZnCd QDs upon UV irradiation in prebiotic liquid formamide. We show that ZnCd QDs are able to increase the yield of RNA nucleobase synthesis from formamide up to 300 times, suggesting they might have served as universal catalysts in a primordial milieu. Based on the experimentally observed peroxidase-like activity of ZnCd QDs upon irradiation with visible light, we propose that QDs could be relevant to a broad variety of processes relating to the emergence of terrestrial life.
KeywordsUV-induced nanoparticles, Origin of life, Metal ions, Thiols, Nanoparticle world, Nanozymes, Formamide
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceASTROBIOLOGY. 2022, vol. 22, issue 5, p. 1-11.
- Chytré nanonástroje