HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Molecular midwives hold clues to the origin of life

Adding a small molecule, dubbed a "molecular midwife," researchers increased the rate of DNA formation in a chemical reaction 1,000 fold over a similar reaction lacking a midwife. The discovery is an important step in the effort to trace the evolution of life back to the earliest self-replicating molecules. The results are reported in the April 2 edition of the German chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie.

"We are working to uncover how molecules similar to RNA and DNA first appeared on Earth around 4 billion years ago. Our theory is that small, simple molecules acted as templates for the production of the first RNA-like molecules. Many of these small molecules, or molecular midwives, would have worked together to produce RNA by spontaneously mixing and assembling with the chemical building blocks of RNA," said Nicholas Hud, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

In contemporary life, RNA is present in all cells and is responsible for transmitting genetic information from DNA to proteins. Many scientists believe that RNA, or something similar to RNA, was the first molecule on Earth to self-replicate and begin the process of evolution that led to more advanced forms of life such as human beings.

Hud first proposed the idea of a molecular midwife in a paper published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology in 2000, along with co-author Frank Anet, professor emeritus at UCLA. The problem they said was this. When you throw all the components needed to make RNA into a soup, the individual components do not spontaneously form RNA. But there may have been other molecules present at the dawn of life that would have increased the chances RNA would form. If this were true, then it would provide a missing link in the evolution of life's earliest molecules.

Hud and Anet, along with Georgia Tech students Swapan Jain and Christopher Stahle, tested this idea by using the molecule proflavin to aid the ch
'"/>

Contact: David Terraso
david.terraso@icpa.gatech.edu
404-385-2966
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
31-Mar-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Molecular motor implicated in tissue remodeling
2. 16th EORTC NCI AACR Symposium Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics
3. 16th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics
4. Molecular staples shape a cancer killer
5. Molecular motor myosin VI moves hand over hand, researchers say
6. Molecular therapeutics advance fight against brain cancer
7. Molecular motor shuttles key protein in response to light
8. Molecular traffic cop directs cellular signals
9. Molecular marker predicts success of breast cancer treatment
10. Molecular image of genotoxin reveals how bacteria damage human DNA
11. Molecular mechanism found that may improve ability of stem cells to fight disease

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/26/2019)... ... , ... The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy ... Achievement Award, Outstanding New Investigator Awards, and the Sonia Skarlatos Public Service Award. ... Meeting . , Outstanding Achievement Award, Dr. John Rossi, Lidow Family Research Endowed ...
(Date:3/25/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... March 25, 2019 , ... ... Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology since it came into use by ... Berkeley Visiting Scientist Kiana Aran is the first to combine the power of ...
(Date:3/23/2019)... PASADENA, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... March 22, 2019 ... ... Library Preparation Kit for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) sample preparation. RhinoSeq employs a ... the NGS market. The five-tube kit is comprised of preformatted master mixes for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... 2019 , ... The AACR annual conference pulls together a diverse group of ... cancer research. The Visikol team will be at the show at booth #3252 and ... as their digital pathology services . “For AACR this year we are highlighting ...
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... 2019 , ... This free webinar will review strategies for data management in modular ... reduce study build times by up to 30 percent, reducing cost while increasing quality, achieving ... without the need to migrate data – reducing risk and impact on trial success, trial ...
(Date:3/15/2019)... ATLANTA (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... acquisition of 100% equity in American Process Inc. and affiliate companies including ... Alpena Biorefinery in Alpena Michigan, the Thomaston Biorefinery and R&D center in ...
(Date:3/14/2019)... ... March 14, 2019 , ... ON NOVEMBER 27, ... partner, the Eye Machine Canada Inc., had been given approval to begin a ... Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). , The previous month, the medical devices bureau of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: