Hud Lab featured on front cover of Angewandte Chemie

In 1871, Charles Darwin envisioned the spontaneous formation of biological molecules “in some warm little pond with all sort of ammonia and phosphoric salts”. C. Menor-Salván, N. V. Hud, and co-workers tested the feasibility of this prebiotic scenario as described in their Communication on page 13249 ff. When a solution containing ammonium formate, urea, and epsomite (the magnesium sulfate crystals shown) was heated, a eutectic was produced that liberated phosphate from insoluble apatite, leading to nucleoside phosphorylation. Dr. Bradley Burcar, Prof. Dr. Matthew Pasek, Dr. Maheen Gull, Dr. Brian J. Cafferty, Prof. Dr. Francisco Velasco, Prof. Dr. Nicholas V. Hud and Dr. César Menor-Salván, Darwin's Warm Little Pond: A One-Pot Reaction for Prebiotic Phosphorylation and the Mobilization of Phosphate from Minerals in a Urea-Based Solvent, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 42, 2016, 12915.