The thermal condensation of formamide in the presence of mineral borates is reported. The products afforded are precursors of nucleic acids, amino acids derivatives and carboxylic acids. The efficiency and the selectivity of the reaction was studied in relation to the elemental composition of the 18 minerals analyzed. The possibility of synthesizing at the same time building blocks of both genetic and metabolic apparatuses, along with the production of amino acids, highlights the interest of the formamide/borate system in prebiotic chemistry. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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