Murchison is one of the most primitive meteorites known and contains water-bearing minerals along with complex organic compounds, including over 100 amino acids and the bases that make up the biological coding elements of RNA and DNA; however, all of these have a nonbiogenic origin. Some current isotopic studies hint that organic sulfur compounds within Murchison might have been created by interaction of carbon disulfide gas-phase molecules with light in the low-temperature, pre-planetary environment of interstellar space.
The following organic compounds have been isolated from Murchison:
AMINO ACIDS IDENTIFIED IN THE CM2 MURCHISON METEORITE
DIAMINO ACIDS IDENTIFIED IN THE CM2 MURCHISON METEORITE
Uwe J. Meierhenrich et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 101, (2004)
D- and L-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid
D- and L-2,4-diaminobutanoic acid
In addition, over fifty water-soluble monocarboxylic acids have been identified in Murchison (Huang et al., 2005).
Note: An asterisk (*) after the name of an amino acid indicates
a tentative identification.
Portions excerpted from Shock E.L., and Schulte M.D., Summary and implications of reported amino acid concentrations in the Murchison Meteorite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 1990, vol. 54, pp. 3159-3173.