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:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 6, 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., ... in healthy volunteers of a novel calcium release-activated ... acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis, sudden ... mild disorder, but can be very serious.  In severe ... sepsis, where extended hospital stays, time in the ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... Jan. 3, 2017 Onitor, provider of digital ... Onitor Track, an innovative biometric data-driven program designed to ... month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in ... In the U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO), have ... of adults who are overweight or obese. WHO also ...
(Date:12/19/2016)... , España y TORONTO , 19 de diciembre ... Northern Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de MSC-1, un ... en varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples sitios previstos ... ... clase con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia (LIF), una ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Application - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022" report ... ... projected to reach $15,737 million by 2022 from $6,521 in 2015, ... Omic technologies segment accounted for more than half of ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and HOUSTON , Jan. ... Prenatal") today announced the formation of its Medical/Clinical ... clinicians and industry veterans who enhance the range ... it accelerates development of its novel prenatal diagnostic ... medical, clinical and strategic guidance for the company,s ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research and Markets ... has announced the addition of the ... 2025" report to their offering. Report ... provides a detailed analysis on current and future market trends to identify ... market values as the base numbers Key market trends ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... November Research Group, LLC, a global ... device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce the worldwide release of PRIMO ... to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility and ease of use of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: