Navigation Links
A simple fusion to jump-start evolution
Date:12/18/2008

With the aid of a straightforward experiment, researchers have provided some clues to one of biology's most complex questions: how ancient organic molecules came together to form the basis of life.

Specifically, this study, appearing online this week in JBC, demonstrated how ancient RNA joined together to reach a biologically relevant length.

RNA, the single-stranded precursor to DNA, normally expands one nucleic base at a time, growing sequentially like a linked chain. The problem is that in the primordial world RNA molecules didn't have enzymes to catalyze this reaction, and while RNA growth can proceed naturally, the rate would be so slow the RNA could never get more than a few pieces long (for as nucleic bases attach to one end, they can also drop off the other).

Ernesto Di Mauro and colleagues examined if there was some mechanism to overcome this thermodynamic barrier, by incubating short RNA fragments in water of different temperatures and pH.

They found that under favorable conditions (acidic environment and temperature lower than 70 C), pieces ranging from 10-24 in length could naturally fuse into larger fragments, generally within 14 hours.

The RNA fragments came together as double-stranded structures then joined at the ends. The fragments did not have to be the same size, but the efficiency of the reactions was dependent on fragment size (larger is better, though efficiency drops again after reaching around 100) and the similarity of the fragment sequences.

The researchers note that this spontaneous fusing, or ligation, would a simple way for RNA to overcome initial barriers to growth and reach a biologically important size; at around 100 bases long, RNA molecules can begin to fold into functional, 3D shapes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagorski@asbmb.org
301-634-7366
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Simple chemical procedure augments therapeutic potential of stem cells
2. Diversity of trees in Ecuadors Amazon rainforest defies simple explanation
3. At risk for peripheral arterial disease? Simple quiz provides key so you can circulate better
4. Genome of simplest animal reveals ancient lineage, confounding array of complex capabilities
5. Research measures movement of nanomaterials in simple model food chain
6. Simple model cell is key to understanding cell complexity
7. Salt-tolerant gene found in simple plant nothing to sneeze at
8. Simple screening questionnaire for kidney disease outperforms current clinical practice guidelines
9. Simple recipe turns human skin cells into embryonic stem cell-like cells
10. Simple reason helps males evolve more quickly
11. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/6/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, and the ... five (5) year funding commitment by Securus to ... rehabilitation and reentry support to more inmates and ... 2004, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is an ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 Not many of us realize that we ... of recovery so we need to do it well. Inadequate sleep levels have been ... blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Maybe now is the best ... that could help them to manage their sleep quality? ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... November 29, 2016 Nearly one billion matches per ... ... DERMALOG is ... an efficient Identity Management. (PRNewsFoto/DERMALOG Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... December 9, 2016 The research ... five players in the  Global Label-Free Array Systems Market ... market in 2015. Players such as Biacore, Agilent Technologies, ... dominant in the global market due to their unmatched ... innovation. Product upgrades and timely product launches are expected ...
(Date:12/8/2016)...  The Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh ... only pure life sciences investment firm, today ... succession plan developed by the Nominating and Governance Committee ... (Jim) F. Jordan is selected to serve as ... Manzetti , who is elected to the position of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 AskLinkerReports.com ... comprehensive analysis, titled Global Amyloglucosidase Industry 2016 Market Research Report. ... application, and industry chain overview are all covered in the ... analysis, and investment return analysis of the Amyloglucosidase industry. ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Opal Kelly, a leading ... interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the FOMD-ACV-A4, the company's first FPGA-on-Module ... small, thin, SODIMM-style module that fits a standard 204-pin SODIMM socket for low-cost ...
Breaking Biology Technology: