Chemists offer more evidence of RNA as the origin of life

May 13, 2016 by Bob Yirka report
This is a computer graphic of an RNA molecule. Credit: Richard Feldmann/Wikipedia

(Phys.org)—A team of chemists at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich has shown how the purines adenine and guanine can be synthesized easily and in reasonable yields, offering more evidence that RNA could have served as the origin of life on Earth. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes the process they took in looking for evidence that RNA could have been the first self-replicating molecule that eventually led to all life on our planet and what they found.

For several years many scientists have supported the idea that got its start on our planet due to a series of events that led to the creation of RNA molecules—it seems like a strong candidate because it is able to both store information and act as a catalyst. To bolster the theory, scientists have been trying to show under what conditions RNA might have come about based on the conditions that existed on early Earth. In the early going, researchers found it relatively easy to show how two of the four main building blocks in RNA, uracil and cytosine, could have come about, but showing how the other two, adenine and guanine, might have come about has been problematic. In this new effort the research team describes a scenario under with both might have come about given conditions at the time that life is believed to have got its start.

The team started by extending prior research that had shown that a molecule called formamidopyrimidine can react under certain to form purines—they discovered that adding acid to an amine (which the team showed could have come about very easily from plentiful carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen) allowed for a reaction that led to the formation of a purine and that it would easily bond with , which recent research has shown is plentiful on comets—that means it could have met with existing purines if a comet crashed into the planet at the right place. Once that happened, the resultant reactions would have led to forging bonds with sugars which would have resulted in the creation of large amounts of purines, including adenine and guanine—thus all of the necessary ingredients would have been in place for the creation of RNA molecules, setting the stage for the development of living organisms.

Explore further: Missing links brewed in primordial puddles?

More information: S. Becker et al. A high-yielding, strictly regioselective prebiotic purine nucleoside formation pathway, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2808

Abstract
The origin of life is believed to have started with prebiotic molecules reacting along unidentified pathways to produce key molecules such as nucleosides. To date, a single prebiotic pathway to purine nucleosides had been proposed. It is considered to be inefficient due to missing regioselectivity and low yields. We report that the condensation of formamidopyrimidines (FaPys) with sugars provides the natural N-9 nucleosides with extreme regioselectivity and in good yields (60%). The FaPys are available from formic acid and aminopyrimidines, which are in turn available from prebiotic molecules that were also detected during the Rosetta comet mission. This nucleoside formation pathway can be fused to sugar-forming reactions to produce pentosides, providing a plausible scenario of how purine nucleosides may have formed under prebiotic conditions.

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cgsperling
2.4 / 5 (20) May 13, 2016
So we ARE descended from ALIENS ! I KNEW IT !
NoStrings
1 / 5 (12) May 13, 2016
a
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (18) May 13, 2016
Very interesting. Another boost for the RNA World hypothesis.

We will find out how this came about, eventually; it's inevitable.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
4.7 / 5 (15) May 13, 2016
Good to see these possibilities.

But I hear the synthesis conditions are incompatible with the earlier pyrimidine synthesis, adding pots to chemists's soup theory already complicated RNA synthesis. And of course the reaction pathway looks very different from how cells does it. These reactions typically rely on land for drying out and concentrating puddles with reactants and products to make some RNA at al.

I would be interested to see Keller et al start with purines instead of glucose when they study their non-enzymatic metabolic like pathways that works in the Hadean ocean at high rates and yields. That is where we find the cells that used the RNA anyway.
BartV
1.2 / 5 (19) May 14, 2016
"RNA molecules are able to store information....


Where did this "information" come about in the first place?
This is one of the problems with the debunked theory of evoluation.
Without information RNA and DNA are useless.

thus all of the necessary ingredients would have been in place for the creation of RNA


Very sorry but life just doesn't come about from having the right ingredients physically close together. For all you atheist scientists out there---Try putting together these molecules and see if you can come up with life. Do it a million times. Do it a billion times. Do it a trillion times. You will never come up with life. You really have to be a blind scientist to believe in this ridiculous theory.

Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (17) May 14, 2016
"RNA molecules are able to store information....


Where did this "information" come about in the first place?
This is one of the problems with the debunked theory of evoluation.
Without information RNA and DNA are useless.

Do you not realize we are exposed to trillions of bits of data - each day?
thus all of the necessary ingredients would have been in place for the creation of RNA

Very sorry but life just doesn't come about from having the right ingredients physically close together. For all you atheist scientists out there---Try putting together these molecules and see if you can come up with life. Do it a million times. Do it a billion times. Do it a trillion times. You will never come up with life.

It's being done. Trillions of times - a day. In trillions of variations. Relax, Bart. Let it sink in...
gkam
4.1 / 5 (14) May 14, 2016
Was all that done in one day, . . as the Bible says??
Da Schneib
4.8 / 5 (19) May 14, 2016
What amazes me is that there are actually people who don't "believe in" biology.

You really have to wonder what they think of genetically engineered tomatoes.
chileastro
3.6 / 5 (20) May 14, 2016
You mean the hypocrites that run to use the benefits of contemporary biological sciences every time they have a malady?
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (12) May 14, 2016
"RNA molecules are able to store information....


Where did this "information" come about in the first place?
This is one of the problems with the debunked theory of evoluation.


- If evolution is 'debunked', why is it the only theory in basic biology, successfully predicting lineage changes and splits, and consensus among biologists? (Irrespective of religion, I might add.)
- Where do 'information' come from in evolution. and why would *that* be a problem?

[If you don't know, our environment contains plenty of information that the evolution learns and uses. It is after all the information it needs. which alleles are more, and less, useful than the ones already 'tried' by mutation? That is selection for fitness, part of the observed mechanisms.

There is no information supplied *with* the process.

How could it be, where would the information come from? The information is what works in the current environment, learned one generation at a time.]
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (11) May 14, 2016

Very sorry but life just doesn't come about from having the right ingredients physically close together.


Try putting together these molecules and see if you can come up with life. Do it a million times. Do it a billion times. Do it a trillion times. You will never come up with life.


How do you know?

Where you there? Are you there in the future?

How do you come to believe in your magical time travel 'knowledge' in the first place? Or ... are you making stuff up?

Meanwhile, scientists are learning how to do all this.

Now they know how - possibly - RNA. part of life, was once produced. According to you it couldn't be done, by "having the right ingredients physically close together".

Creationist 'theory' - debunked. Emergence theory - passed another test. Evolution - couldn't care less, it works anyway.
Da Schneib
4.6 / 5 (11) May 14, 2016
Perhaps the most amusing part is watching the cretinists flail while failing to comprehend the difference between evolution and the origin of life.
Zorcon
4.7 / 5 (12) May 15, 2016
"RNA molecules are able to store information....


Where did this "information" come about in the first place?
This is one of the problems with the debunked theory of evoluation.
Without information RNA and DNA are useless.

thus all of the necessary ingredients would have been in place for the creation of RNA


Very sorry but life just doesn't come about from having the right ingredients physically close together. For all you atheist scientists out there---Try putting together these molecules and see if you can come up with life. Do it a million times. Do it a billion times. Do it a trillion times. You will never come up with life. You really have to be a blind scientist to believe in this ridiculous theory.


...therefore, life must have been created by something even more complex, and Occam's Razor tells us the spontaneous generation of a magical sky daddy out of nothing would be more likely.

Did I miss anything?
humy
5 / 5 (12) May 15, 2016
"RNA molecules are able to store information....


Where did this "information" come about in the first place?
This is one of the problems with the debunked theory of evoluation.



1, the "information" for the very first RNA was random and came form the random joining of RNA bases;
After that, random mutations and natural selection.

2, where the first RNA information came from has NOTHING to do with with evolution theory as you suggested above because evolution is ONLY a theory of how one race/species of life changes into another race/species of life and thus evolution is NOT a theory of the origin of the very first life.
Look up "Darwinian evolution" in the dictionary and then come back to us...

3, evolution has never been "debunked" by anyone.

4, the word "evolution" is not spelt as "evoluation"
humy
5 / 5 (11) May 15, 2016


...therefore, life must have been created by something even more complex, ....?


Of course, there are plenty of observable examples of something complex emerging from something less complex.
Two examples;

A single-celled fertilized animal egg turning into a complex multi-cellular animal complete with a complex brain.

Salty water evaporating to form and leave behind salt crystals with various geometric shapes.
humy
5 / 5 (10) May 15, 2016
Perhaps the most amusing part is watching the cretinism flail while failing to comprehend the difference between evolution and the origin of life.

Their apparent inability to comprehend the difference between evolution and the origin of life is surely either

1, an indicator that they are EXTREMELY stupid i.e. lack intelligence as most other laypeople have no problem whatsoever comprehending the difference,

or

2, they are EXTREMELY delusional because they desperately want to confuse and complicate a very easy to understand thing that indicates their religion is clearly wrong so they convince themselves it is much more complex than it actually is to hide from themselves the truth.

or

3, they are EXTREMELY dishonest because they deep down know the truth but desperately want to pretend they don't understand and they want to deceive other people with erroneous arguments.

I don't know which of the 3 above is closest to the truth. Anyone: any opinions?
Da Schneib
4.6 / 5 (9) May 15, 2016
I'm going with 2.
humy
4.6 / 5 (10) May 15, 2016
I'm going with 2.

I think you might be right.
Alternatively, it might also be a mixture of 2 of the 3 or, even worse, a mixture of all 3.
compose
May 15, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
compose
May 15, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Da Schneib
4.6 / 5 (11) May 15, 2016
I'm going with 2.

I think you might be right.
Alternatively, it might also be a mixture of 2 of the 3 or, even worse, a mixture of all 3.

I think that the answer varies from person to person, but most are 2, a plurality are 1, and a few are 3. And I'm not sure 3 is as clear-cut as it might seem; some people seem to think that logic chopping and philosophy can lead to truth, and that goes back to 2. They are deluded that all their philosophy and logic chopping leads to truth, not navel-gazing; and their philosophy and logic chopping helps the deluded ones maintain their delusions.

It's not a simple situation, because if it were there'd be a simple answer and we'd've found it long ago and done something about it.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (12) May 15, 2016
Perhaps the most amusing part is watching the cretinism flail while failing to comprehend the difference between evolution and the origin of life.

Their apparent inability to comprehend the difference between evolution and the origin of life is surely either ...


An analogy would be the old Big Bang singularity consensus being questionable today, and often, perhaps by consensus already, being replaced by the inflation era and the Hot Big Bang that Planck and other observatories see.

Such a replacement doesn't mean that the Big Bang theory isn't useful anymore than Newtonian gravity isn't useful. (Ask those who guide interplanetary crafts!) It means the old theory that was independent of inflation (relativity for gravity) is now embedded in a larger theory without being threatened by that theory's state of usefulness.

[tbctd]
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (11) May 15, 2016
[ctd]

Emergence of life may be like that. Evolution is "differential reproduction" in an existing population, and obviously it doesn't apply to emergence or depends on emergence.

However, people have seen that natural selection may be applicable in the form of chemical selection over populations of molecules. Similarly there are now phylogenetic ,methods that tentatively bridge over to Hadean geological formations, making them our ancestors. If that is so, natural selection may be applicable in the form of chemical selection over populations of geological reactors, extending chemical selection.

In sum, the old theory of evolution that was independent of emergence may become embedded in a larger theory without being threatened by that theory's state of usefulness.

[tbctd]
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (11) May 15, 2016
[ctd]

TL;DR: Emergence may or may not contain evolutionary mechanisms, and frozen in inheritance of Dawkins's extended phenotype when the first cells with inheritance machinery emerged, and that is putatively why we see a phylogenetic tree rooted in geology.

We "don't yet know", and that is a perfectly fine state of knowledge as we work the problem.
humy
5 / 5 (7) May 17, 2016
Perhaps the most amusing part is watching the cretinism flail while failing to comprehend the difference between evolution and the origin of life.

Their apparent inability to comprehend the difference between evolution and the origin of life is surely either ...


An analogy would be the old Big Bang singularity consensus being questionable today, and often, perhaps by consensus already, being replaced by the inflation era and the Hot Big Bang that Planck and other observatories see.

Such a replacement doesn't mean that the Big Bang theory isn't useful anymore than Newtonian gravity isn't useful.... It means the old theory that was independent of inflation (relativity for gravity) is now embedded in a larger theory without being threatened by that theory's state of usefulness.


I see no such analogy: unlike Newtonian physics and Big bang singularity theory, creationism was never "useful" nor explained anything scientifically/rationally.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (8) May 17, 2016
I see no such analogy: unlike Newtonian physics and Big bang singularity theory, creationism was never "useful" nor explained anything scientifically/rationally.

Creationist myths are included in the field cultural anthropology. Their study greatly enhances our understanding of human's capacity to believe. Those myths demonstrate our initial crude attempts to find meaning and purpose while emerging from a sea of ignorance.

I am reminded of a quote I liked from a recent interview by Carlo Rovelli, a physicist from Aix-Marseille University and the Intitut Universitaire de France:

-- "The problem with Islam and Christianity is that many centuries ago somebody had the idea of writing down beliefs. So now some religious people are stuck with the culture and knowledge of centuries ago. They are fish trapped in a pond of old water."
compose
May 17, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Phys1
4.5 / 5 (8) May 17, 2016
[This is one of the problems with the debunked theory of evoluation.


Hey, when did they debunk the theory of ovulatio?
Da Schneib
4.4 / 5 (7) May 17, 2016
I am reminded of a quote I liked from a recent interview by Carlo Rovelli, a physicist from Aix-Marseille University and the Intitut Universitaire de France:

-- "The problem with Islam and Christianity is that many centuries ago somebody had the idea of writing down beliefs. So now some religious people are stuck with the culture and knowledge of centuries ago. They are fish trapped in a pond of old water."
Very good quote. It's not even because they didn't know about science; there was some very good and valuable science done in those cultures, but both cultures ignored it as best they could when it started disagreeing with what had been written down, even to the point of killing people who insisted on investigating it. To keep these same prejudices in the space age is becoming more and more obviously ridiculous.
Phys1
4.4 / 5 (7) May 17, 2016
The creation story as written down in Genesis displays several characteristics of evolution.
- Life has not always existed and emerged over a of time
- All life forms did not come into existence at once but one by one over a period of time
- Life forms that emerged later are more complex
The Genesis story is Evolution theory 0.1.
It is typical that the delusionists can not even understand their own holy texts.

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