Chemistry and Radioastronomy by Dr. Lynn Margulis (auth.), Dr. Lynn Margulis (eds.)

By Dr. Lynn Margulis (auth.), Dr. Lynn Margulis (eds.)

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We had a particular peak that gave a very funny mass spectra. What we collected that peak off the GC, made some Dansyl derivatives, or some DNP (dinitrophenol) derivatives, and found in fact, three different compounds eluted at that same peak. If you just start taking mass spectra of these peaks how do you determine that you don't have a mixture of compounds? I have found mass spectra, when there may be a mixture, are extremely difficult to interpret. ORO: A possible solution is coming up now, it is called mass chromatography.

Is that a thing that never happens any more? PONNAMPERUMA: Mistakes might be made with regard to an isomer, maybe, but, generally, you know, if you identify a particular amino acid, I think, or a heterocycle, probably it is a good bet that you found it there. ORGEL: A good bet! Would you offer me ten-to-one, or IOO-ta-one, or what? SAGAN: Watch it, you're getting quantitative! PONNAMPERUMA: There is a class of compounds I would say the bet is 100-1. FERRIS: I have an example - a very recent sad example, of identifying a compound we isolated.

SAGAN: At these wavelengths you would use quartz - because Vycor does not transmit light. SOFFEN: But when you increase amounts of Vycor, do you maintain the same cross-section? Do you fill the vessel more, or have a larger area? HUBBARD: When we add greater amounts of Vycor to the vessel we expose more surface area, but the increase is not proportional to the weight of substratum. Slowing down the conversion of CO or C02 doesn't speed up the rate of organic formation, but it keeps CO in our system longer, to permit us to build up a better yield of organics on extended irradiation.

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