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:12/18/2018)... ... December 18, 2018 , ... CP Merritt is a ... been competing for many years however in 2006, he had a medical setback that ... was determined that he suffered from cartilage degeneration in his right rear fetlock. ...
(Date:12/13/2018)... ... December 12, 2018 , ... Illumina, Kaiser Permanente, ResMed and Aetna were just ... Diego-based team-building and cooking events company has hosted an impressive guest list of Fortune ... , Each group who visits receives a completely customized experience, right down to ...
(Date:12/6/2018)... ... December 06, 2018 , ... Stewart has been ... contract services, throughout his career. During his recent five-year tenure with InSphero he ... established the commercial laboratory operations in Brunswick, Maine. Through these experiences, Stewart has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/10/2019)... ... ... adopted from a local shelter when he was around two years old. According to ... after he was adopted, he tore his right cruciate ligament. Though he had his ... a traumatic injury. , Sure enough, when Rascal was about nine years old, he began ...
(Date:1/8/2019)... ... 08, 2019 , ... The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy’s ... selection committee made up of industry leaders identified by the ASGCT board of directors. ... awards created to support ASGCT members designing transformative pilot studies in gene and cell ...
(Date:1/4/2019)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... January 02, 2019 ... ... a proprietary technology to detect precancer and cancer cells in blood, has been ... Medigen Biotech , a global biotech company developing cell therapies for cancer treatment, ...
(Date:12/19/2018)... ... 19, 2018 , ... RURO, Inc., a leading provider of ... 7.1. The new release enhances the latest version of Limfinity®, RURO’s software framework, ... end. , Validation protocols, and their execution, are critical for software systems scrutinized ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: