Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:23 PM
2on2u (1,843 posts)
Scientists Discover Possible Building Blocks of Ancient Genetic Systems
Scientists Discover Possible Building Blocks of Ancient Genetic Systems in Earth's Most Primitive Organisms
ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2012) — Scientists believe that prior to the advent of DNA as Earth's primary genetic material, early forms of life used RNA to encode genetic instructions. What sort of genetic molecules did life rely on before RNA?
The answer may be AEG, a small molecule that when linked into chains forms a hypothetical backbone for peptide nucleic acids, which have been hypothesized as the first genetic molecules. Synthetic AEG has been studied by the pharmaceutical industry as a possible gene silencer to stop or slow certain genetic diseases. The only problem with the theory is that up to now, AEG has been unknown in nature.
A team of scientists from the United States and Sweden announced that they have discovered AEG within cyanobacteria which are believed to be some of the most primitive organisms on Earth. Cyanobacteria sometimes appear as mats or scums on the surface of reservoirs and lakes during hot summer months. Their tolerance for extreme habitats is remarkable, ranging from the hot springs of Yellowstone to the tundra of the Arctic.
"Our discovery of AEG in cyanobacteria was unexpected," explains Dr. Paul Alan Cox, co-author of the paper that appeared in the journal PLOS ONE. The American team members are based at the Institute for Ethnomedicine in Jackson Hole, and serve as adjunct faculty at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
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Response to 2on2u (Original post)
Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:29 PM
Anthony McCarthy (507 posts)
probably represent a form of life that had evolved for hundreds of millions of years after the origin of life. Count me as among those who believe that RNA was the result of evolution in living beings and that the actual chemistry of the original organism will never be found and certainly never confirmed since there is no actual evidence of the earliest life. It will always be unknown.
Response to Anthony McCarthy (Reply #1)
Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:41 PM
exboyfil (6,534 posts)
2. Then God must have done it (sarcasm)
I agree with you. The chance that the original form of life will be discovered is almost impossible. What I think science will do is find a probably pathway to self organization which will kick off natural selection and reproduction. As far as I am concerned they only need to show that abiogenesis was done once in a realistic setting to show that abiogenesis is the only logical conclusion for the origin of life.