BIO-ORGANIC CHEMISTRY QUARTERLY REPORT. December 1961, January andFebruary 1962

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It has been known for a hundred years that formaldehyde polymerizes to carbohydrate substances in alkaline media. Although the reaction has long attracted much attention, only recently has a detailed qualitative analysis of the products been carried out by chromatographic methods. We have started to re-examine this reaction by combining chromatography with radioactive tracer techniques in the hope of refining the quantitative aspects of the analysis. Our particular interest has been to develop methods for determining the relative proportions of ribose and ribulose in the mixtures of sugars formed in basic media, as well as under other polymerizing conditions. The ... continued below

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92 p.

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Creator: Unknown. April 3, 1962.

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Description

It has been known for a hundred years that formaldehyde polymerizes to carbohydrate substances in alkaline media. Although the reaction has long attracted much attention, only recently has a detailed qualitative analysis of the products been carried out by chromatographic methods. We have started to re-examine this reaction by combining chromatography with radioactive tracer techniques in the hope of refining the quantitative aspects of the analysis. Our particular interest has been to develop methods for determining the relative proportions of ribose and ribulose in the mixtures of sugars formed in basic media, as well as under other polymerizing conditions. The finding of large amounts of these sugars might help to explain the occurrence of ribose as the only basic sugar in the fundamental replicating molecules--the nucleic acids. Formaldehyde is thought to have been present in the primitive reducing atmosphere which existed before life first appeared. The ribonucleic acids must have appeared in the constitution of reproducing systems at a very early stage in the development of living organisms. In this study, the polymerizations of formaldehyde were carried out in calcium hydroxide suspensions at 40{sup o}. Aliquots of the reaction mixtures were withdrawn at after various time intervals and the alkali was neutralized with sulfuric acid or, in later experiments, with carbon dioxide. The hydrolysis with sulfuric acid that was used initially to break down any polymers was shown to be unnecessary, as identical products were obtained with this treatment and with simple carbon dioxide neutralization.

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92 p.

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  • Report No.: UCRL--10156
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/928893 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928893
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895586

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  • April 3, 1962

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • April 24, 2017, 12:18 p.m.

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BIO-ORGANIC CHEMISTRY QUARTERLY REPORT. December 1961, January andFebruary 1962, report, April 3, 1962; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895586/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.