The synthesis of amino acids in the Miller-Urey spark-discharge experiments in the early 1950s inspired a strong interest in experimental studies of prebiotic organic chemistry that continues today. Over the years, many of the basic building blocks of life as we know it have been synthesized in the laboratory from simple ingredients, including amino acids, sugars, nucleobases, and membrane-forming lipids. Questions remain, however, concerning whether the conditions that allow synthesis of these compounds in the laboratory accurately simulate those that might have been present on the early Earth, and a closer convergence between plausible prebiotic conditions and laboratory simulations remains a challenge for experimentalists.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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