The exploration of the effect of gamma radiation on primordial formamide-based solutions
Adam Pastorek  1, 2, *@  , Martin Ferus  1@  , Ondřej Šrámek  3@  , Svatopluk Civiš  1@  , Václav Čuba  2@  
1 : J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the ASCR
Dolejškova 2155/3, 182 23 Prague 8, Czech Republic -  Czech Republic
2 : Faculty of nuclear sciences and physical engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague
České vysoké učení technické v Praze Zikova 1903/4 166 36 Praha 6 Česká republika -  Czech Republic
3 : Charles University [Prague]
Ovocný trh 3-5, Prague 1, 116 36 Czech Republic -  Czech Republic
* : Corresponding author

Primordial radioactivity might have been an important source of energy for various chemical transformations. Intensity of endogenous radioactivity on early Earth was up to 3.6∙103 higher than today and chemical substances in contact with radioactive rocks should undergo radiolysis. In this manner, we expect also transformation of molecules relevant to prebiotic chemistry. In this study, we present a pioneering research focused on the influence of ionising gamma radiation on formamide and we are exploring its possible influence on formation of prebiotic molecules or biomolecules. We demonstrate that the irradiation of formamide mixed with various clays by ~ 6 kGy produces significant amounts of urea. Urea can play a role in subsequent chemical transformations resulting in the formation of basic substances of genetic code or amino acids.

[1] Miller, S. L. A production of amino acids under possible primitive earth conditions. Science (80-. ). 117, 528–529 (1953)

[2] Ferus, M. et al. High-energy chemistry of formamide : A unified mechanism of nucleobase formation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 112, 657–662 (2015)

[3] Zagórski, Z. P. Radiation chemistry and origins of life on earth. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 66, 329–334 (2003)

[4] Adam, Z. R. et al. Estimating the capacity for production of formamide by radioactive minerals on the prebiotic Earth. Sci. Rep. 8, 265 (2018)

[5] Koeberl, C. Processes on the Early Earth. in Processes on the early Earth 1–22 (2006)

Online user: 48