To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Microbiological activities can be detected in various extreme environments on Earth, which suggest that extraterrestrial environments, such as on Mars, could host life. There have been proposed a number of biomarkers to detect extant life mostly based on specific molecules. Because terrestrial organisms have catalytic proteins (enzymes), enzymatic activity may also be a good indicator to evaluate biological activities in extreme environments. Phosphatases are essential for all terrestrial organisms because phosphate esters are ubiquitously used in genetic molecules (DNA/RNA) and membranes. In this study, we evaluated microbial activity in soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile, by analysing several biomarkers, including phosphatase activity. Phosphatases extracted with Tris buffer were assayed fluorometrically using 4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate as a substrate. The horizontal distribution of phosphatase activity and other parameters in soils from the Atacama Desert showed that phosphatase activity was positively correlated with amino acid concentration and colony-forming units and negatively correlated with precipitation amount. We found consistent that biochemical indicators including phosphatase significantly decreased in the extreme hyper-arid zone where rainfall of <25 mm year−1. The results were compared with phosphatase activities detected in extreme environments, such as submarine hydrothermal systems and Antarctic soils, as well as soils from ordinary environments. Overall, our results suggested that phosphatase activity could be a good indicator for evaluating biological activities in extreme environments.
The unidentified infrared (UIR) bands, whose carriers are thought to be organics, have been widely observed in various astrophysical environments. However, our knowledge of the detailed chemical composition and formation process of the carriers is still limited. We have synthesized laboratory organics named Quenched Nitrogen-included Carbonaceous Composite (QNCC) by quenching plasma produced from nitrogen gas and hydrocarbon solids. Infrared and X-ray analyses of QNCC showed that infrared properties of QNCC well reproduce the UIR bands observed in novae and amine structures contained in QNCC play an important role in the origin of the broad 8 m feature, which characterizes the UIR bands in novae. QNCC is at present the best laboratory analog of organic dust formed around dusty classical novae, which carries the UIR bands in novae via thermal emission process [Endo et al.(2021)].
We have succeeded in synthesizing organics, ‘Quenched Nitrogen-included Carbonaceous Composite (QNCC)’, via plasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method, whose infrared spectral properties reproduce the characteristics of the unidentified infrared (UIR) bands observed around classical novae. Past studies have shown that the UIR bands observed around novae appear somewhat differently from those observed in other astrophysical environment and are predominantly characterized by the presence of a broad 8μm feature. The remarkable similarity between the infrared properties of QNCC and the UIR bands in novae indicates that QNCC should be considered as a strong candidate of the carriers of the UIR bands in novae. Finally, we have started a space exposure experiment of QNCC aiming to explore the evolutional link between the QNCC and the insoluble organic molecule (IOM) in carbonaceous condrite and, thus, to infer the origins of organics in our solar system.
The unidentified infrared (UIR) bands have been ubiquitously observed in various astrophysical environments and consist of a series of emission features arising from aromatic and/or aliphatic C-C and C-H bonds . Therefore, their carriers are thought to be related to interstellar organics. However, our knowledge on the true carriers of the UIR bands is still limited. Recently  has proposed Mixed Aromatic Aliphatic Organic Nanoparticles, which contains hetero atoms in addition to conventional hydrocarbon models, as a more realistic interpretation of the band carriers. The challenges toward identifying the carriers of the UIR bands are still ongoing. Past studies have shown that the UIR bands observed around classical novae, which characterized by the presence of broad feature around 8μm, are somewhat different from those observed in other astrophysical environment. Here we report the success of experimentally synthesizing the organics called Nitrogen-included Carbonaceous Compounds (NCC; ) whose infrared properties can reproduce the UIR bands observed in classical novae.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.