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:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... DUBLIN , April 15, 2016 ... of the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait ... CAGR of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... movement angles, which can be used to compute ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® ... provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root ... CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the ... shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help ... obstacle for many early stage organizations - access to ... sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... partnership that will allow them to produce up ... (HiPSC) from one lot within one week. These ... their time laboriously preparing cells and spend more ... made possible through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  According to ... next generation sequencing (NGS) market include significant efforts ... smaller sequencers.  More accessible and affordable sequencers, say ... growing demand for consumables including sample prep materials.  ... Market for Sample Preparation for Next Generation Sequencing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: