Holm, Nils G.; Dumont, Marion; Ivarsson, Magnus; Konn, Cecile (2006): Alkaline fluid circulation in ultramafic rocks and formation of nucleotide constituents; a hypothesis. BioMed Central, London, United Kingdom, Geochemical Transactions, 7 (7), georefid:2008-004653

Seawater is constantly circulating through oceanic basement as a low-temperature hydrothermal fluid (<150 degrees C). In cases when ultramafic rocks are exposed to the fluids, for instance during the initial phase of subduction, ferromagnesian minerals are altered in contact with the water, leading to high pH and formation of secondary magnesium hydroxide, among other--brucite, that may scavenge borate and phosphate from seawater. The high pH may promote abiotic formation of pentoses, particularly ribose. Pentoses are stabilized by borate, since cyclic pentoses form a less reactive complex with borate. Analyses have shown that borate occupies the 2' and 3' positions of ribose, thus leaving the 5' position available for reactions like phosphorylation. The purine coding elements (adenine, in particular) of RNA may be formed in the same general hydrothermal environments of the seafloor.
West: -110.3500 East: 149.0000 North: 22.3000 South: -12.0500
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Expedition: 201
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Accessed on May 29, 2007
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