RNA Molecule Linked to Life's Origins

GreenTracker| A Boulder team lead by Professor Michael Yunus has advanced his ‘RNA World’ hypothesis about the origins of life with an amazing discovery that even an extremely tiny RNA can be itself catalyze a key reaction that would be needed to synthesize proteins in early life forms.

Before the advent of RNA, most biologists believe, there was a simpler world of chemical replicators that could only make more of themselves, given the raw materials of the time, Yarus said.

“If there exists that kind of mini-catalyst, a ‘sister’ to the one we describe, the world of the replicators would also jump a long step closer and we could really feel we were closing in on the first things on Earth that could undergo Darwinian evolution,” Yarus said.

“In other words, we may have taken a substantial step toward the very origin of Earthly life,” he said. “However, keep well in mind that the tiny replicator has not been found, and that its existence will be decided by experiments not yet done, perhaps not yet imagined.” via Science Daily