15 May 2009

The dawn

One of the long-standing mysteries about the origin of life is the formation of nucleotides from simpler constituent molecules. Once one assumes the existence of RNA (a molecule similar to DNA, though less stable), the path to primitive forms of true life is fairly straightforward. RNA, in turn, is built up from nucleotides. But the nucleotides themselves are quite complex. How did they form from the simpler constituents existing on pre-biotic Earth? Now a British chemist has found the answer. The last gap in our knowledge of the path from the non-living to the living -- and ultimately to ourselves -- has finally been filled in.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Blurber said...

This is one of those occasions where it would be extra interesting if we could bring people back from the past to get their reactions to modern discoveries. I'm sure Darwin would be impressed and amazed, but not that surprised.

15 May, 2009 09:32  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Indeed, I've often thought how unjust it is that those pioneers who suffered persecution for their work in getting us where we are today -- Darwin, Galileo, Copernicus, and so many others -- can't be here to see how far we've come.

Of course even DNA was unknown in Darwin's time. He would probably be astonished at how thoroughly his ideas have been vindicated by so many discoveries he could hardly have imagined.

15 May, 2009 10:23  

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