RNA-DNA Chimeras Might Have Supported the Origin of Life on Earth

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  • Nicholas Hud Nicholas Hud

Molecules that combine elements of RNA and DNA, so-called chimeric molecules, may have been an important step in the emergence of life on Earth from the primordial soup that existed billions of years ago, according to a study published yesterday (September 16) in Nature Chemistry. The work came out of research exploring the transition from RNA-based lifeforms to the DNA-based life that is ubiquitous today. Chimeric RNA-DNA molecules have some advantages that might make them better candidates than pure RNA for the first reproducing molecules. “There are times when we have mixtures, rather than just the isolated reactants that people typically use, and we get better results,” Nicholas Hud, a chemist at Georgia Tech who was not involved in the new study, tells Quanta. When mixtures are taken into consideration, the emergence of life on Earth in some ways “is not as hard as we might think it is.”

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College of Sciences, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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RNA-DNA chimeras, Origin Of Life
  • Created By: A. Maureen Rouhi
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Sep 23, 2019 - 6:01pm
  • Last Updated: Sep 23, 2019 - 6:29pm