Navigation Links
Small molecule interactions were central to the origin of life

In an important new paper forthcoming in the June issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, Robert Shapiro (New York University) argues against the widely held theory that the origin of life began with the spontaneous appearance of a large, replicating molecule such as RNA. Instead, Shapiro raises an alternative that does not depend on a "stupendously improbable accident," presenting the more plausible idea that life began within a mixture of simple organic molecules, multiplied through catalyzed reaction cycles and an external source of available energy.

"The diversity of organic chemistry, with its harvest of competing, interconnected reactions, becomes an asset rather than a liability in the case of the energy-driven system," explains Shapiro. "The existence of side reaction paths can provide the network with the capacity of reacting to circumstances."

Shapiro outlines how replicator theories, though they have been supported by "prebiotic" syntheses carried out by chemists using modern apparatus and purified reagents, are highly unlikely. The creation of a molecule that can self-replicate requires the combination of diverse chemicals in a long sequence of reactions in a specific order, interspersed by complicated separations, purifications, and changes in locale.

Instead, Shapiro introduces the idea of a "driver" reaction, linked to a free energy source, that helps convert an unorganized mixture into a organized, self-regulated metabolic network.

"If we wish a more plausible origin of life, then we must work with the assumption that life began, somehow, among one of the mixtures of simple organic molecules that are produced by abiotic processes," writes Shapiro. "Nature will be instructing us, rather than we attempting to impose our schemes onto it."


'"/>

Source:University of Chicago Press Journals


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim
2. Small worm yields big clue on muscle receptor action
3. Small molecule inhibitor of cholera discovered
4. Small, smaller, smallest -- The plight of the vaquita
5. Small molecule dervived from Rb2/p130 could act as cancer therapeutic
6. Smallpox outbreak: How long would it take for vaccines to protect people? Would it work?
7. Chemists create Superbowl molecule; May lead to better health
8. Key molecule in plant photo-protection identified
9. Inflammatory molecules released by pollen trigger allergies
10. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
11. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... --  EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based identity ... and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. ... iris image with a face image acquired in sequence ... th issued patent. "The issuance ... multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... HONG KONG , March 30, 2017 ... developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground ... technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use ... applications at an affordable cost. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... (NYS DFS) cybersecurity regulations have transitioned into full force and effect. The ... the state (“Covered Entities”) to conduct an annual, professional, comprehensive cybersecurity risk ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... ... move of the SPIE Digital Library ( http://www.spiedigitallibrary.org ) on 15 August to ... an improved user experience and incorporate a number of enhancements and new features, ...
(Date:9/17/2017)... ... , ... GeneOne Life Science, Inc. announces that it has ... for an Investigational New Drug application for a Phase I/IIa study of its ... in Korea represents the second clinical trial for GLS-5300. , A US ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... and London UK (PRWEB) , ... September 14, ... ... gather the most innovative minds in pharma and biotech at the third annual ... two-day collaborative conference that brings together the world’s most progressive clinical research leaders ...
Breaking Biology Technology: