The human organism is a far more complex structure than anyone could ever imagine, just by taking a look at a single cell. Furthermore, there are about 8.7 million species of animals across the world and 391,000 species of plants. Fully understanding how all of these organisms emerged, evolved, and work is utopic. Nobody could ever create any form of life in the laboratory if we’re ruling out cloning. But luckily enough, humanity is still searching for answers.
Back when our planet formed itself out of the hydrogen gas and dust surrounding the Sun about 4.5 billion years, the Earth was a lifeless and molten rock.
Knowing how RNA was created is a great challenge for scientists. A new study wants to provide a compelling explanation, and it was presented by researchers from the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the University of New South Wales. The scientists added several compounds like phosphate, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, salt, and water. They further added a gamma-ray source for simulating the effect of radioactive materials from the early Earth.
Jim Cleaves, one of the authors, declared:
These types of continuous reaction networks may be quite common in chemistry, but we are only now beginning to build the tools to detect, measure, and understand them,
The outcome was represented by complex compounds that could be used for creating RNA.
RNA is a fabric for proteins, and DNA can transport complex instructions for genes. While it’s believed that RNA comes before the DNA, a recent study shows that it could happen otherwise.
Scientists from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, and the Polish Academy of Sciences, performed another experiment. They had been using another mixture of compounds, and they also added water and radiation. It was also involved an UV source that mimics the sun. Building blocks of RNA emerged: cytidine and uridine. But the scientists also saw a building block of DNA – deoxyadenosine. The research concludes that DNA did not necessarily follow from RNA, but the two could have evolved alongside each other.
Surely there are many questions unanswered when it comes to life on Earth, but knowing how could RNA and DNA emerge is a significant progress.