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:1/22/2015)... Inc. , a market leader of iris-based identity authentication solutions, ... the new role of Senior Vice President of Mobile and ... platforms and wearable solutions for EyeLock,s technologies. Gerber brings more ... industry to his role at EyeLock, with expertise in human ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/fx4bg3/the_global ) ... Global Watermarking and Fingerprinting Markets" report to ... This insight provides an overview ... markets. Watermarking aims to control and monitor piracy ...
(Date:12/19/2014)...  23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, today announced the ... ancestry of individuals from across the United States ... four hundred years ago, the United States ... different continents. This study illuminates how American history and the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):EyeLock Names Steve Gerber as Senior Vice President of Mobile and Wearables 2The Global Watermarking and Fingerprinting Markets 223andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 223andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 323andMe Study Sketches Genetic Portrait of the United States 4
(Date:1/22/2015)... 22, 2015 Shimadzu Scientific Instruments ... multipurpose UV-visible spectrophotometer. Offering wavelength scanning from 190 ... ideal for applications in a variety of industries, ... The user-friendly UV-1280 enables intuitive operation, while the ...
(Date:1/22/2015)...  Transwestern | RBJ today announces the firm brokered a long-term ... a leading biopharmaceutical company, at Two Ledgemont Center in ... Richards , president, and Brian Cohen , senior vice ... building at 95 Hayden Ave. Photo - ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... Protocol Networks brings independent technology consulting ... brand-neutral, independent consultants, Protocol Networks has recently announced its ... the years, his company has attracted several clients in ... as well as others. With the success of these ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... 2015 zFlo Motion , a US ... an exciting product from a new partner. STT-Systems ... the past 15 years, with offerings in the optical-motion capture, ... IMU system (inertial measurement unit), iSen, is opening eyes around ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Shimadzu’s New Monitored Single-Beam UV-Vis Spectrophotometer Offers Comprehensive Measurement Options in a Compact Body 2Transwestern?RBJ Advises Shire in 202,000 SF Lease, Creating Boston's Largest Suburban Biotech Campus 2Protocol Networks Brings Independent Technology Consulting to the Constitution State 23D Motion Capture Just Got Easy 2
Cached News: