Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Nature communications
Sugars and their derivatives are essential to all terrestrial life. Their presence in meteorites, together with amino acids, nucleobases, amphiphiles, and other compounds of biological importance, may have contributed to the inventory of organics that played a role in the emergence of life on Earth. Sugars, including ribose (the sugar of RNA), and other sugar derivatives have been identified in laboratory experiments simulating photoprocessing of ices under astrophysical conditions. In this work, we report the detection of 2-deoxyribose (the sugar of DNA) and several deoxysugar derivatives in residues produced from the ultraviolet irradiation of ice mixtures consisting of HO and CHOH. The detection of deoxysugar derivatives adds to the inventory of compounds of biological interest that can form under astrophysical conditions and puts constraints on their abiotic formation pathway. Finally, we report that some of the deoxysugar derivatives found in our residues are also newly identified in carbonaceous meteorites.