Re: Life From Borax? Why Not!

Posted by Uncle Al on Jan 10, 2004 at 10:12

Re: Life From Borax? Why Not! (DA Morgan)

If you diddle with sugars they oxidize (cornstarch to dextrin in your oven), carmelize, or react with free/pendant amines to undergo the Maillard reaction (react into fragrant brown crud).

Take a can of *unopened* sweetened condensed milk, boil it on its *side* always covered with water in a big covered pot of water for four hours. Cool and refrigerate. YUM! That's the Maillard reaction. Ditto browned bread crusts and savory browned meat (Kitchen Bouquet is magic stuff in educated hands).

Borate rapidly (seconds) reversibly forms five-membered cyclic esters with syn-vicinyl hdyroxyls of sugars. That effectively passivates the molecule. It's a nice abiogenic synthesis hypothesis.

Curiously, boron has almost no well-charactized biochemistry - lots of smoke, almost no flame,

Nature 415(6871) 488 (2002)
J. Antibiotics 29 1019 (1976)

Also boromycin and tartrolon-B.

Uncle Al
(Do something naughty to physics)

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