Navigation Links
Life's origins were easier than was thought

In the primordial soup that produced life on earth, there were organic molecules that combined to produce the first nucleic acid chains, which were the first elements able to self-replicate. According to one of the more accepted theories, these molecules were ribonucleic acid (RNA) chains, a molecule that is practically identical to DNA and that today has the secondary role in cells of copying information stored in DNA and translating it into proteins.

These proteins have a direct active role in the chemical reactions of the cell. In the early stages of life, it seems that the first RNA chains would have had the dual role of self-replicating (as is today the case with DNA) and participating actively in the chemical reactions of the cell activity. Because of their dual role, these cells are called ribozymes (a contraction of the words ribosome and enzyme). But there is an important obstacle to the theory of ribozymes as the origin of life: they could not be very large in length as they would not be able to correct the replication errors (mutations). Therefore they were unable to contain enough genes even to develop the most simple organisms.

An investigation led by Mauro Santos, from the Department of Genetics and Microbiology at the Universitat Aut�noma de Barcelona (Spain), alongside two Hungarian scientists, has shown that the error threshold, that is, the maximum number of errors that may occur during the replication process of ribozymes without this affecting its functioning, is higher than was previously calculated. In practice, this means that the first riboorganisms (protocells in which RNA is responsible for genetic information and metabolic reactions) could have a much bigger genome than was previously thought: they could contain more than 100 different genes, each measuring 70 bases in length (bases are the units that constitute the genes and codify the information), or more than 70 genes, each measuring 100 bases. It is worth remembering t hat tRNAs (essential molecules for the synthesis of proteins) are approximately 70 bases long.

The discovery has greatly relaxed the conditions necessary for the first living organisms to develop. "This quantity of genes would be enough for a simple organism to have enough functional activity", according to the researchers. Recent analysis into the minimum number of DNA genes required to constitute bacteria, the most simple organism today, considers that around 200 genes is sufficient. But in riboorganisms there can be much fewer genes, since DNA genomes include a number of genes that have the role of making the RNA translation system (which enables proteins to be produced) work, which would not be required in RNA-based organism.


'"/>

Source:Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona


Related biology news :

1. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
2. The genetic origins of corn on the cob
3. Study charts origins of fear
4. The first laugh: New study posits evolutionary origins of two distinct types of laughter
5. Ancient anthropoid origins discovered in Africa
6. RNA enzyme structure offers a glimpse into the origins of life
7. Prehistoric origins of stomach ulcers uncovered
8. Genetic fingerprints identify brain tumors origins
9. Technique makes it easier to see mouse embryo in all its glory
10. T-ray breakthrough could make detecting disease far easier
11. Helium helps patients breathe easier
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle ... agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI special ... safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings more ... a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to his ... Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 4Dx ... prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the University of ... was invited to deliver the latest data to world ... recognised event brings together leaders at the forefront of ... in lung imaging. "The quality of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is pleased to announce ... of the new established USDM subsidiary “USDM Europe GmbH” based in Germany. , ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... of clinical trials worldwide, announced today that they were named one of the ... which covers the latest developments in the pharmaceutical industry. , “We take pride in ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Vibrating Orifice Aerosol Generator (VOAG) was ... droplets of known diameters for research applications such as for calibrating droplet measuring ... monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG requires forcing liquid out of an orifice ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Waltham, MA (PRWEB) , ... April 19, 2017 ... ... of a $1.5M Series A-1 financing round. This event adds to several other ... establishment of its’ Executive and Scientific Teams. , ThermaGenix will use ...
Breaking Biology Technology: