HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Critical pairing

How did life originate on Earth? Until now, there have only been theories to answer this question. One of the fundamental steps leading to living organisms is the development of molecules that can replicate and multiply themselves--the first genetic material. A team led by Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy and Albert Eschenmoser at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, is researching how this molecule might have looked.

Our own genetic material is DNA. Its backbone is made of sugar and phosphate building blocks. Like a strand of pearls, the four "letters" of the genetic code are arranged along this backbone. Two complementary strands of DNA form a double helix because the purine bases adenine (A) and guanine (G) form specific pairs with the pyrimidine bases thymine (T) and cytosine (C), attaching to each other through two or three docking sites. This type of structure could also be the basis for the first genetic material. However, it is doubtful that its backbone consisted of sugar and phosphate; it may have consisted of peptide-like building blocks. Amino acids, from which peptides are made, were already present in the "primordial soup". However, the bases may also have looked different in their primitive form.

To find the right track in searching for the origins of life, the team is trying to put together groups of potential building blocks from which primitive molecular information transmitters could have been made. The researchers have taken a pragmatic approach to their experiments. Compounds that they test do not need to fulfill specific chemical criteria; instead, they must pass their "genetic information" on to subsequent generations just as simply as the genetic molecules we know today--and their formation must have been possible under prebiotic conditions. Experiments with molecules related to the usual pyrimidine bases (pyrimidine is a six-membered aromatic ring containing four carbon and two nitrogen atoms), among others, seem
'"/>

Contact: R. Krishnamurthy
rkrishna@scripps.edu
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
17-Nov-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Critical protein prevents DNA damage from persisting through generations
2. Critical hearing gene helps send auditory messages to brain
3. Critical step traced in anthrax infection
4. Critical role in programmed cell death identified
5. Mouse study: Critical Down syndrome region isnt
6. Fish eyes could hold clue to repairing damaged retinas in humans
7. Pregnancy hormone key to repairing nerve cell damage
8. Getting on your nerves ... and repairing them
9. A silent pandemic: Industrial chemicals are impairing the brain development of children worldwide
10. Novel stem cell technology develops a new cell for repairing spinal cord injuries
11. Mice brains shrink during winter, impairing some learning and memory

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Critical pairing

(Date:10/17/2014)... German . ... When treating overdoses, doctors are often limited to supportive therapy ... is a combination of drugs involved. So what can be ... grandmother,s pills? ETH professor Jean-Christophe Leroux from the Institute of ... to this question. "The task was to develop an agent ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... can be cultivated efficiently, they are anything but ... by monoculture cultivation is becoming increasingly evident. Despite ... form and are regarded as the sole possibility ... quite wrongfully, finds Bernhard Schmid, an ecology professor ... novel form of agriculture and forestry. After all, ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... assess the pandemic risk from strains of influenza virus ... allow ourselves to become complacent that the most substantial ... scientists. , Influenza pandemics arise when a new virus ... widespread immunity – spreads in the human population. There ... years, the worst of which – the 1918 Spanish ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Emergency aid for overdoses 2Emergency aid for overdoses 3Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures 2Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures 3Scientists 'must not become complacent' when assessing pandemic threat from flu viruses 2
(Date:10/22/2014)... The Americas Inorganic Refrigerants Market ... in Americas with analysis and forecast of revenue. ... Inorganic Refrigerants Market report, to get an idea ... a glimpse of the segmentation in the Americas ... tables and figures. , http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/americas-inorganic-refrigerants-4191654241.html ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... October 21, 2014 Shimadzu Scientific Instruments ... data tool for the pain management and clinical markets. ... processing and review by allowing users to highlight and ... , QuantAnalytics allows analysts to filter results by ... data processing by eliminating the need to sift through ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... WriteResult, LLC – a premier provider of ... a team of researchers from Yale University’s School of ... to provide electronic questionnaire data collection through use of ... in May, aims to evaluate the impact of a ... and participation in urban agriculture to impact their consumption ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 22, 2014 Grace Century, a private ... projects, announces the addition of Dr. Yousef “Josh” ... advisory team. Dr. Siddiqui will provide further healthcare expertise ... graduate of University College Medical School in ... medicine in 2001. With further certification as a General ...
Breaking Biology Technology:The Americas Inorganic Refrigerants Market is estimated to grow to $71.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Americas Inorganic Refrigerants Market is estimated to grow to $71.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3Shimadzu Releases QuantAnalytics Open Access LCMS Software Package for Clinical Applications 2myPROpad™ Topic of Panel Discussion at the Yale Food Systems Symposium 2myPROpad™ Topic of Panel Discussion at the Yale Food Systems Symposium 3Dr. Yousef Siddiqui joins the Grace Century Advisory Team 2
Cached News: