UV Abiotic Production of the Molecule Uracil

A scientific paper has just appeared in the journal Astrobiology in which it is shown that UV irradiation of astrophysical ices containing pyrimidine can result in the abiotic production of the molecule uracil. Uracil is one of the nucleobases that are the building blocks of DNA and RNA. The work was done by Michel Nuevo, Stefanie Milam, and Scott Sandford in the NASA-ARC Astrochemistry Laboratory.