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most complex abiotic (nonliving) molecules

Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.

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most complex abiotic (nonliving) molecules

Postby mattw » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:43 pm

Has anyone has gathered a list of nature's most complex non living molecules? What abiotic molecules have the greatest number of unique atoms, most daltons, etc. I'm thinking about crystals, but these generally only have a few unique elements repeated over and over again. Thanks :)
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Re: most complex abiotic (nonliving) molecules

Postby EnricoPallazzo » Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:16 pm

Lignin comes into my mind. Lignins are formed via radical-induced coupling of phenolic compounds and support the strength of plant cell walls. However, they are part of plant tissues (in trees), and they might not exactly meet your definition (?).
But the lignin in a single tree is believed to be one continuous, growing structure. Thus it can be seen as one large molecule.
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Re: most complex abiotic (nonliving) molecules

Postby mattw » Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:25 pm

That's great. Living nature wins again. Lignin is a huge molecule. Are there any complex molecules that develop without living syatems?
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Re: most complex abiotic (nonliving) molecules

Postby claudepa » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:10 pm

HI,
Its seems to me very difficult to know on earth if an abiotic molecule is really abiotic since life can be everywhere on earth. Perhaps investigations on the moon and on mars could be more profitable for abiotic molecules since until now no life was found.
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