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Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 18;5:9215. doi: 10.1038/srep09215.

Isotopic resonance hypothesis: experimental verification by Escherichia coli growth measurements.

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Division of Physiological Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17 177 Stockholm, Sweden.


Isotopic composition of reactants affects the rates of chemical and biochemical reactions. As a rule, enrichment of heavy stable isotopes leads to progressively slower reactions. But the recent isotopic resonance hypothesis suggests that the dependence of the reaction rate upon the enrichment degree is not monotonous. Instead, at some "resonance" isotopic compositions, the kinetics increases, while at "off-resonance" compositions the same reactions progress slower. To test the predictions of this hypothesis for the elements C, H, N and O, we designed a precise (standard error ±0.05%) experiment that measures the parameters of bacterial growth in minimal media with varying isotopic composition. A number of predicted resonance conditions were tested, with significant enhancements in kinetics discovered at these conditions. The combined statistics extremely strongly supports the validity of the isotopic resonance phenomenon (p ≪ 10(-15)). This phenomenon has numerous implications for the origin of life studies and astrobiology, and possible applications in agriculture, biotechnology, medicine, chemistry and other areas.

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