2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Computational Studies of Precursors to Amino Acids in the Interstellar Medium
Alexis Morris* and Brittany Curtis
Dr. Eric V. Patterson, Faculty Mentor

The presence of life makes understanding the origin of life capturing to humans imagination. The detection of over 100 organic molecules in the interstellar medium (ISM) suggests that complex organic molecules may have formed extraterrestrially. The discovery of amino acids in the Murchison meteorite provides further evidence that other extraterrestrial bodies may contain precursors to other amino acids. Although the existence of precursors is a possibility, the mechanisms through which they form remain undetected. In the present study, computational methods will be used to propose possible reaction mechanisms for the amino acids glycine, alanine, and threonine in the ISM.

Keywords: Amino Acids, Glycine, Alanine, Threonine, Interstellar Medium

Topic(s):Astrobiology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 209-4
Location: MG 2090
Time: 10:15

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