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Keywords:

  • amino acids;
  • nucleotides;
  • photochemical reactions;
  • reduction;
  • solvated electrons
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Light work: UV irradiation of a system formed by adding copper(I) cyanide to an aqueous solution of glycolonitrile, sodium phosphate, and hydrogen sulfide efficiently generates aldehyde precursors to the building blocks of RNA and proteins.