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Latest Abiogenesis Stories

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2012-03-14 11:08:41

In the beginning — of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building workbench — there were ribonucleic acids, the molecules we call RNA that today perform a host of vital functions in cells. And according to a new analysis, even before the ribosome's many working parts were recruited for protein synthesis, proteins also were on the scene and interacting with RNA. This finding challenges a long-held hypothesis about the early evolution of life. The study appears in the journal PLoS...

2012-03-12 20:00:01

In the beginning — of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building workbench — there were ribonucleic acids, the molecules we call RNA that today perform a host of vital functions in cells. And according to a new analysis, even before the ribosome's many working parts were recruited for protein synthesis, proteins also were on the scene and interacting with RNA. This finding challenges a long-held hypothesis about the early evolution of life. The "RNA world" hypothesis, first...

The Blue Planet's New Water Budget
2012-03-06 04:28:52

Investigating the history of water on Earth is critical to understanding the planet's climate. One central question is whether Earth has always had the same amount of water on and surrounding it, the same so-called "water budget". Has Earth gained or lost water from comets and meteorites? Has water been lost into space? New research into the Earth's primordial oceans conducted by researchers at the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen and Stanford University...

2012-02-16 14:51:00

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...

2012-01-19 13:24:33

Mechanism of evolution of the primordial metabolism discovered Volcanic-hydrothermal flow channels offer a chemically unique environment, which at first glance appears hostile to life. It is defined by cracks in the crust of the earth, through which water flows, laden with volcanic gases are contacting a diversity of minerals. And yet — it is precisely this extreme environment, where the two mechanisms could have emerged, which are at the root of all life: The multiplication of...

2012-01-13 14:53:07

An international team of scientists led by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Professor Ralf I. Kaiser, Alexander M. Mebel of Florida International University, and Alexander Tielens of Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, discovered a novel chemical route to form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — complex organic molecules such as naphthalene carrying fused benzene rings — in ultra-cold regions of interstellar space. The team announced their findings in the January...

2012-01-09 13:15:50

In the chemistry of the living world, a pair of nucleic acids–DNA and RNA–reign supreme. As carrier molecules of the genetic code, they provide all organisms with a mechanism for faithfully reproducing themselves as well as generating the myriad proteins vital to living systems. Yet according to John Chaput, a researcher at the Center for Evolutionary Medicine and Informatics, at Arizona State University´s Biodesign Institute®, it may not always have been so. Chaput...

New Hypothesis: Pumice Proposed As Home To The First Life Forms
2011-10-05 03:48:56

The glassy, porous, and once gas-rich rock called pumice may have given rise to early life forms, according to a provocative new hypothesis on the origin of life published in Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Martin Brasier, Richard Matthewman, and Sean McMahon, University of Oxford (U.K.), and David Wacey, University of Western Australia (Crawley), contend that pumice has "four remarkable properties" that would enable it to have had "a significant role in...

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2011-08-11 06:16:06

UC Merced professor coauthors paper published in Nature Chemistry, offering insight into how naturally occurring RNA precursors may have formed on Earth billions of years ago A relatively simple combination of naturally occurring sugars and amino acids offers a plausible route to the building blocks of life, according to a paper published in Nature Chemistry co-authored by a professor at the University of California, Merced. The study, "A Route to Enantiopure RNA Precursors from Nearly...

2011-08-08 17:17:00

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA-funded researchers have found more evidence meteorites can carry DNA components created in space. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) Scientists have detected the building blocks of DNA in meteorites since the 1960s, but were unsure whether they were created in space or resulted from contamination by terrestrial life. The latest research indicates certain nucleobases -- the building blocks of our genetic...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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