The sonolysis of aqueous solutions containing acetic acid, methane, or carbon dioxide in the presence of nitrogen gas was found to produce a number of different amino acids at a rate of ∼1 to 100 nM/min, using ultrasound at an operating power of 70 W and 355 kHz. Gas-phase elementary reactions are suggested, and discussed, to account for the formation of the complex biomolecules from the low molar mass solutes used. On the basis of the results, a new hypothesis is presented to explain the formation of amino acids under primitive atmospheric conditions and how their formation may be linked to the eventual abiotic genesis of life on Earth.

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