Friday, May 15, 2009

RNA may form spontaneously

I'd pay attention to this one. Could be a very big story.

Chemist Shows How RNA Can Be the Starting Point for Life
An English chemist has found the hidden gateway to the RNA world, the chemical milieu from which the first forms of life are thought to have emerged on earth some 3.8 billion years ago.

He has solved a problem that for 20 years has thwarted researchers trying to understand the origin of life — how the building blocks of RNA, called nucleotides, could have spontaneously assembled themselves in the conditions of the primitive earth. The discovery, if correct, should set researchers on the right track to solving many other mysteries about the origin of life. It will also mean that for the first time a plausible explanation exists for how an information-carrying biological molecule could have emerged through natural processes from chemicals on the primitive earth.

Here are some more references:

How RNA got started
Life’s First Spark Re-Created in the Laboratory
Origin of life: building an RNA world from simple chemicals
RNA world easier to make
Chemists see first building blocks to life on Earth
New clue to origins of life on Earth
Molecule of life emerges from laboratory slime

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