Navigation Links
The quest for sugars involved in origin of life
Date:2/16/2012

This press release is available in Spanish.

Sugars give rise to enormous biochemical interest given the importance and diversity of the functions they carry out: they act as an energy storage system and serve as fuel for a number of biological systems; they form part of DNA and of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and, moreover, play a key role in cell processes. Recently interest in sugars has also been increasingly attracting the attention of cosmochemistry, more concretely, in the search for the fundamental matter of the origin of life in interstellar space. Finding this would also help in the understanding of what the mechanism of the origin of life on Earth was. The most elemental of sugars, made up of 2 and 3 units of carbon, have already been found in interstellar molecular clouds and meteorites. Nevertheless, it has not been possible to date to detect more complex sugars in space, given the absence of precise information about their structure. This information is what the research laboratories have to provide.

There are numerous research teams to be first in the race to detect this sugar in gas phase, using high-resolution techniques. Problems have arisen in trying to vaporise it due to the thermal instabilities caused by loss of water. "Only if you avoid the processes of decomposition on dehydration and manage to isolate the sugar, thus obviating the changes produced by neighbouring molecules, will you be in a position to characterise its structure", explained Mr Emilio Jos Cocinero, researcher at the Department of Physical Chemistry of the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU). His latest research has become amongst the first worldwide to have managed to observe a sugar a ribose in the gas phase and to characterise a number of its structures. His article, "Ribose Found in the Gas Phase", published by the Angewandte Chemie International Edition, was announced on the front cover of the April issue of the scientific journal and also highlighted in the on-line version. This publication has an impact factor of 12.730, making it the most important in the field of Chemistry.

Participating in the research, led by Mr Cocinero, was Ms Patricia cija, Mr Francisco Jos Basterretxea, Mr Jos Andrs Fernndez and Mr Fernando Castao, from the UPV/EHU, with the collaboration of Mr Alberto Lesarri from the University of Valladolid and of Jens-Uwe Grabow, from the University of Hannover (Germany), being undertaken in its totality with the team formed at the Basque university.

In concrete, in order to observe the ribose in gas phase, microwave spectroscopy was used combined with ultra-rapid laser vaporisation with ultraviolet light. Not only was it isolated and observed, but six different structures of the ribose were detected. "Sugars are super flexible molecules that can take on many different configurations. We have managed to detect the six most stable structures of the free ribose", explained the lead researcher. However, all the structures detected show rings of six members, i.e. the structures involved are very different from those shown in RNA or ADNA ribose or its derivatives, where the rings are five-membered. "Given that the genetic material has a different configuration, it is unlikely that the first living beings had ribose. Thermal instability and the preference for 6-member rings would appear to exclude the possibility that the first genetic material was made up of this sugar", concluded Mr Cocinero. With this door opened to the study of sugars in gas phase, it will be "easier" to obtain information on the role of sugars in the origin of the first living beings.


'/>"/>
Contact: Aitziber Lasa Iglesias
a.lasa@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. The Science Coalitions 10 questions for the presidential debate
2. Study of polar dinosaur migration questions whether dinosaurs were truly the first great migrators
3. Similar survival rates for Pacific salmon in Fraser, Columbia Rivers raises new questions
4. PNNL leadership in carbon sequestration featured at international conference
5. Montana State partnership receives $66.9M for carbon sequestration
6. The quest for specific anti-inflammatory treatment
7. Carnegie Mellon to unveil new sequestration plan
8. Mutant host cell protein sequesters critical HIV-1 element
9. Ocean islands fuel productivity and carbon sequestration through natural iron fertilization
10. Iowa Power Fund advances researcher’s long quest for efficient solar power
11. New models question old assumptions about how many molecules it takes to control cell division
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The quest for sugars involved in origin of life
(Date:3/2/2017)... March 2, 2017 Summary This report ... and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Read the full ... Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the ... companies. On demand company reports are prepared upon ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... BEDFORD, Mass. , March 1, 2017  Aware, ... and services, announced that Richard P. Moberg ... Officer and co-President and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer ... will continue to serve as a member of the ... T. Russell , Aware,s co-Chief Executive Officer and co-President, ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... , Feb. 27, 2017   Strategic Cyber Ventures ... it has led a $3.5 million investment in  Polarity ... Strategic Cyber Ventures is DC based and is led ... Hank Thomas . Ron Gula , also a ... also participated in this series A round of funding. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017 The Global Microfluidic ... report is a specialized and comprehensive study on the existing state ... America , Europe and ... Middle East and Africa . ... Browse 172 Tables and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... NetDimensions announced ... processes and enhance training plan management for consistent implementation of standards and regulatory ... the SHL Group to help improve and streamline their training and employee development ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Franz Inc ... product, AllegroGraph , has been named a ‘Champion’ by Bloor Research in its ... highest ranked product in its class, and, thanks to Gruff, it was rated as ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Ecovia Renewables, ... Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Under the ... develop a suite of BioGel™ biopolymer materials for hygiene applications, particularly for use ...
Breaking Biology Technology: