Building blocks of DNA and RNA could have appeared together before life began on Earth

RNA
A hairpin loop from a pre-mRNA. Highlighted are the nucleobases (green) and the ribose-phosphate backbone (blue). Note that this is a single strand of RNA that folds back upon itself. Credit: Vossman/ Wikipedia

Scientists for the first time have found strong evidence that RNA and DNA could have arisen from the same set of precursor molecules even before life evolved on Earth about four billion years ago.

The discovery, published April 1 in Nature Chemistry, suggests that the first living things on Earth may have used both RNA and DNA, as all cell-based do now. In contrast, the prevailing scientific view—the "RNA World" hypothesis—is that were based purely on RNA, and only later evolved to make and use DNA.

"These new findings suggest that it may not be reasonable for chemists to be so heavily guided by the RNA World hypothesis in investigating the origins of life on Earth," says co-principal investigator Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Scripps Research.

Krishnamurthy and his lab worked on the study with the lab of John Sutherland, DPhil, of the UK Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, as part of the New York-based Simons Foundation's Collaboration on the Origins of Life.

RNA () and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) are chemically very similar, but chemists have never been able to show how the one could have been converted to the other on the early Earth, except with the help of enzymes produced by early organisms. Due in part to this lack of a demonstrated pre-life or "pre-biotic" chemical path connecting RNA to DNA, researchers in this field have been inclined to think that the simpler, more versatile one, RNA, was the basis for the first life forms—or at least for an early stage of life prior to the emergence of DNA. RNA is able to store as DNA can, is able to catalyze biochemical reactions as protein enzymes can, and otherwise probably could have performed the basic biological tasks that would have been necessary in the first life forms.

Although origin-of-life researchers in recent decades have largely come to embrace the RNA World hypothesis, Sutherland, Krishnamurthy, Harvard's Jack Szostak and others have accumulated evidence that RNA and DNA may have arisen more or less all at once in the first life forms.

In a study published in 2017 for example, Krishnamurthy and colleagues at Scripps Research identified a compound that plausibly was present on the pre-biotic Earth and could have performed the crucial task of linking RNA building blocks into larger, chain-like RNA strands—and could have done the same for the building blocks of DNA and proteins.

In the new study, the scientists combined insights from that investigation with recent findings from Sutherland and his lab on a compound called thiouridine. The latter was likely present on Earth before life arose, and could have been a chemical precursor of the nucleoside building blocks of early RNAs. The team showed that in a few chemical-reaction steps, which plausibly could have occurred in a pre-biotic world, they could convert this precursor of an RNA building-block into a DNA building block—deoxyadenosine, which forms the letter "A" in the modern, four-letter DNA code. Alternatively they could convert thiouridine into deoxyribose, which is very closely related to deoxyadenosine and may also have been a precursor of early DNA building blocks.

The finding should make it easier for scientists to accept the possibility that DNA and RNA arose together and were included in the first life forms. Some researchers including Sutherland have suggested that RNA and DNA might even have been mixed together to make the first genes. No such organism is known to occur naturally now, but a recent paper by Scripps Research's Peter Schultz, Ph.D. and colleagues described an engineered bacterium that can survive with genes made of an RNA/DNA mix.

Krishnamurthy suspects that, however arose, RNA and DNA with their respective strengths and shortcomings would swiftly have sorted themselves into the rather strict division of labor seen in all cells today: DNA for the stable long-term storage of genetic information, and RNA for its own special set of tasks including the short-term storage and transport of genetic information and the making of proteins.

"There is the beginning of a realization in the field that RNA and DNA could have been mixed together initially but later separated according to the things they do best," Krishnamurthy says.

The authors of the study, "Prebiotic Phosphorylation of 2-Thiouridine Provides Either Nucleotides or DNA Building Blocks via Photoreduction," were Jianfeng Xu, Nicholas Green, and John Sutherland of MRC, and Clémentine Gibard and Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy of Scripps Research.


Explore further

Scientists find potential 'missing link' in chemistry that led to life on Earth

More information: Jianfeng Xu et al, Prebiotic phosphorylation of 2-thiouridine provides either nucleotides or DNA building blocks via photoreduction, Nature Chemistry (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0225-x
Journal information: Nature Chemistry

Citation: Building blocks of DNA and RNA could have appeared together before life began on Earth (2019, April 1) retrieved 22 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-blocks-dna-rna-life-began.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
906 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Apr 01, 2019
RNA can go both ways, to DNA or protein, so that alone suggests RNA as a primary stand-alone code and mechanism for early life. Something reversed the trend for RNA storing info, and DNA evolved to form the "library", and on the flip side, RNA evolved into transcription/translational events, and some mechanisms we still see today.

If DNA played such a major role in early life, one might expect some of it to be hanging around as mechanisms. It is a more stable polymer than RNA and it's ultimate place as the final library of an organism's genome is thereby well reasoned.

It is not unreasonable, however, that an early mix of RNA and DNA could also explain the development of central dogma, as this is still what we have today - a mix of DNA and RNA. It seems like a real mess to me.

Apr 01, 2019
dfj, you want an orderly existence. Everything in neat, orderly categories. Where they will stay out & never perturb your equanimity.

No. sorry, not in this reality.
Yes, the Universe is out to screw you over like a cat playing with a mouse it caught.

A recent example is an article on phys.org that analyzed why the Male Human XY chromosome was linked to so many female Human miscarriages & birth defects.

Because the XY chromosome is defective. That is why it is not the healthier XX chromosome.

An example of how stochastic processes of Biology & Sexual Reproduction.

The meaningless randomness of a chaotic existence.
As those failures of the XY actually push evolution forward for the Species.

While simultaneously crapping on the lives of the individuals involved.

You want your life to have a meaning? Then you will have to create it for yourself.
& Yes, failure is always an option. It is a measure of your character, if every time you get knocked down? You get yourself back up.

Apr 01, 2019
"Scientists for the first time have found strong evidence that RNA and DNA could have arisen from the same set of precursor molecules even before life evolved on Earth about four billion years ago."

Utter nonsense. Both RNA and DNA require a living predecessor as the initial Design for all future programming of Life. Such scientists are desperate to provide any kind of proof that Life arose from inorganic Matter without first having been created, while also having been programmed to continue into the procreation phases, and then evolve into the many various life forms. It is the atheist mind/brain that refuses any possibility of the Intelligent Creation process that caused the production of RNA and DNA in the first living cells in the waters of Earth. When molecules rearrange, they require a Design/Program to follow BEFORE they have the ability to rearrange and accommodate. Otherwise it is 'garbage in, garbage out" - similar to Computer Programming.

Apr 01, 2019
Calling RNA the "simpler" of the 2 is funny. Because it is far, far from simple. The first life would have required not only very complex molecules all fit together perfectly but must have had the initial ability to reproduce, too. The mathematical possibility of this is 0. Without first addressing this absurdity in the mindset that life came spontaneously, this theory must be suspended from further discussion. Move on to more serious topics.

Apr 01, 2019
That the atoms tend to assemble themselves into precursors of DNA (and, natch, RNA) lends credence to the idea that the precursors would have been available. That the precursors tend to assemble themselves into more complicated structures which tend to resemble DNA (and, natch, RNA) takes a bit of the mystery out of how life originated.

A carefully preserved mystery tends less to impress than an actual one. Can we skip the religion and get on with the science?

Apr 02, 2019
That the atoms tend to assemble themselves into precursors of DNA (and, natch, RNA) lends credence to the idea that the precursors would have been available. That the precursors tend to assemble themselves into more complicated structures which tend to resemble DNA (and, natch, RNA) takes a bit of the mystery out of how life originated.

A carefully preserved mystery tends less to impress than an actual one. Can we skip the religion and get on with the science?
says FF

But science has become a "religion" wrt the origins of life and the very first instances of DNA/RNA occurring in the waters. Veneration of this most holy and sanctimonious melding of inorganic elements to coagulate into molecules that allegedly already contained the Program for "body parts" and the need to reproduce into separate but equal volumes of Matter. That is as religious as it can get without the presence of a witness as to such a miraculous achievement from slime.

Apr 02, 2019
@SEU,

But science has become a "religion" wrt the origins of life and the very first instances of DNA/RNA occurring in the waters. Veneration of this most holy and sanctimonious melding of inorganic elements to coagulate into molecules that allegedly already contained the Program for "body parts" and the need to reproduce into separate but equal volumes of Matter. That is as religious as it can get without the presence of a witness as to such a miraculous achievement from slime.


Science is not a religion; it follows the evidence. Evidence for life being miraculously created is zero. Just because now we don't know how it worked doesn't mean we never will. Nature had hundreds of millions of years to come up with it; we've had decades. Random chance can work more miracles than any god can. Random chance is a legitimate programming method, and does, indeed, come up with genuinely new information.

Apr 02, 2019
I find it funny that the religious guys always argue that only life can create life but they never say anything about what created this living god of theirs. It's like they're debunking their own arguments.

Also, religious people calling science a religion as if degrading science. Yet, they themselves are religious and believe in old written things never confirmed by anything. I rather have believe in science and facts than in stories and myths.

Apr 02, 2019
"Random chance is a legitimate programming method" ....

Indeed it is, and is largely the only game in town. The two greatest mysteries in the origin of life as we know it :

A) The development of self-replicating, encapsulated macromolecular structures for memory and for mechanisms. How the transport mechanisms arose in any membrane system holding all this is a major mystery itself, to say nothing of metabolites.

B) The second mystery, and arguably the biggest, is the transition to protein as the primary molecular mechanisms - enzymes, channels and structural elements. This required a mind-numbing jump from the 3-D mechanisms of RNA to the 3-D forms of protein, all ultimately coded in a linear fashion in DNA. An enormous conundrum for all to ponder.

Apr 02, 2019
The more or less self-isolated biochemists are paddling upstream on this.

We have overwhelming biological evidence of an RNA world such as that RNA is the precursor metabolite and central enzyme translation to protein as well as part of the central energy currency and membrane transporter tag, which area netted two Nobel Prizes.

And the consensus and evidence thus far is that life evolved from ocean alkaline hydrothermal vents, who were capable of RNA production and replication in the Hadean environment [ https://www.natur...l2016116 ].

the development of central dogma


Watson's main pathway (which is different from Crick's Central Dogma) has been shown to make cells more robust when genetic RNA parasites evolved - and of course it is more chemically stable. So there is no principle problem in its evolution, as soon as you have evolved an RNA-protein system, and that is what we see in metabolism evolution RNA -> DNA.

Apr 02, 2019
@SEU,

But science has become a "religion" wrt the origins of life ... molecules that allegedly already contained the Program for "body parts".


Science is not a religion; it follows the evidence.


I can't see the creationists since they are blocked. But here they take *their* claim - of some 'program' and of its pre-existence - and then tries to explain to others why it is ridiculous. The cell mechanism contains no program but a factory blueprint that needs a lot of environment to play out, and it has observably evolved over time and from known mechanisms at that.

I linked to a paper that contains the first evidence of how life evolved from hydrothermal vents. If it stands, it is a simple observation - no more, no less.

Meanwhile, not only are realigous magic fantasies ridiculous*by their own words*, we know they are false, also from simple observation. Religion is akin to astrology today, praying is as useless as horoscopes, signs and gods don't exist.

Apr 02, 2019
The two greatest mysteries in the origin of life as we know it :

A) The development of self-replicating, encapsulated macromolecular structures for memory and for mechanisms. How the transport mechanisms arose in any membrane system holding all this is a major mystery itself, to say nothing of metabolites.

B) The second mystery, and arguably the biggest, is the transition to protein as the primary molecular mechanisms - enzymes, channels and structural elements. This required a mind-numbing jump from the 3-D mechanisms of RNA to the 3-D forms of protein, all ultimately coded in a linear fashion in DNA. An enormous conundrum for all to ponder.


Since we know it happened - in creationist "random" statistical terms, observably the likelihood is 1 - and roughly how it happened, there is not so much mystery as lack of detail. The vent "bioservices" [ link above ] explains A). Ribosome evolution points to short random enzymatic polypeptides as precursors to proteins (B).

Apr 02, 2019
I would appreciate a link to:

"overwhelming biological evidence of an RNA world.....which netted two Nobel Prizes.

Overwhelming is a vastly overused term.

Apr 02, 2019
The link you provided in Nature Microbiology yields no information about the sequence of biopolymer evolution in early life forms. It deals with life forms currently using central dogma. I suspect the rest of your "observations" are similarly referenced.

You certainly tell a good story, but your evidence is substantially less than overwhelming. It seems suspiciously fanciful to think we have hard evidence for the evolution of life on earth from pre-protein forms.

Apr 02, 2019
Additionally, it is not reasonable to believe that life arose in extreme conditions, such as those near thermal vents. Such extremophiles seen today almost certainly evolved into these niches rather than arose there.

Evolution from the get-go was likely at intermediate temperature. This is particularly so since melting of DNA and or RNA duplexes occurs at elevated temperatures and is unlikely to have arisen in such harsh environs.

Still waiting on those Nobel Prize sources. I may have missed something!

Apr 02, 2019
One last item. It would be a stretch that hard evidence has been found that ribosome evolution points to short random enzymatic polypeptides. I suspect this comes from the classic tRNA concept.

Ribosomes are enormous complexes of RNA and protein in all life forms today - they likely formed more than 3 billion years ago. Since they are used to make protein by translating mRNA with tRNA-amino acid "carriers", a first year student in biology might make such an inference (not to suggest it is wrong), but of course what would be needed to cement this are proto-ribosomal structures. I am not aware that such complexes still exist to data mine.

Inferences are a somewhat less than overwhelming.

Apr 02, 2019
And another thing......

It should also be pointed out that Crick was the first to suggest that RNA was the initial biopolymer for both information and mechanisms. That puts him a leg up on Watson from the get.

Just to make sure I wasn't missing anything, looked up central dogma in wiki and it remains, of course, the only working chemistry, as defined by Crick. Indeed, it included the erroneous notions of Watson in this regard:

"A second version of the central dogma is popular but incorrect. This is the simplistic DNA → RNA → protein pathway published by James Watson in the first edition of The Molecular Biology of the Gene (1965). Watson's version differs from Crick's because Watson describes a two-step (DNA → RNA and RNA → protein) process as the central dogma. While the dogma, as originally stated by Crick, remains valid today, Watson's version does not".

But we cannot take away from Watson as the first to understand the structure of the DNA double helix.

Apr 02, 2019
Additionally, it is not reasonable to believe that life arose in extreme conditions, such as those near thermal vents. Such extremophiles seen today almost certainly evolved into these niches rather than arose there.

Evolution from the get-go was likely at intermediate temperature. This is particularly so since melting of DNA and or RNA duplexes occurs at elevated temperatures and is unlikely to have arisen in such harsh environs.

Intermediate temperatures provide no adaptive changes. The result of no change is, well, no change. I more suspect it is the cooking/cooling (or maybe even vice versa) transition that promoted chemical development of life's building blocks.
Ever make Jello? Ya have to bring it to boil, then cool it in the fridge to actually get Jello…
(Sorry, that's the best analogy I got. But it's simple)


Apr 02, 2019
@SEU,

But science has become a "religion" wrt the origins of life and the very first instances of DNA/RNA occurring in the waters. Veneration of this most holy and sanctimonious melding of inorganic elements to


Science is not a religion; it follows the evidence. Evidence for life being miraculously created is zero. Just because now we don't know how it worked doesn't mean we never will. Nature had hundreds of millions of years to come up with it; we've had decades. Random chance can work more miracles than any god can. Random chance is a legitimate programming method, and does, indeed, come up with genuinely new information.
says obs

Of course this science has become a religion. The religion of attributing the onset of life to inorganic materials is religious zeal. Did you and all other human life emanate/arise from sand/clay/slime or a combination thereof, or did you have parents from whence you emerged? ORGANIC PARENTS, that is. Take your time to think


Apr 02, 2019
@Whydening Gyre, all of life evolved in an aqueous milieu. That means water, and lots of it. A fundamental principle in chemistry is known as the "activity" of a substance, whether a simple ion like Na+, or a complex protein like the voltage-gated calcium channel. Higher activity means everything happens faster. This is not a fundamental requirement for the origin of life.

The activity of chemicals in solution in this case is almost entirely dependent on temperature. No doubt about it. But high temperature also has serious drawbacks, the melting of duplex DNA/RNA being just one of many examples.

Activity of water however is the most important driving force in biochemistry - it is directly or indirectly involved in nearly all processes regardless of the life form at issue. High water activity is almost certainly a deterrent to an abiotic origin.

Enzymes evolved to facilitate chemical reactions at reduced temp. Life does not need higher temperatures to achieve critical reactions.

Apr 02, 2019
Activity of water however is the most important driving force in biochemistry - it is directly or indirectly involved in nearly all processes regardless of the life form at issue. High water activity is almost certainly a deterrent to an abiotic origin.

I'm just sayin' something in the heat process deforms a chemical collection and the cooling process allows an altered reformation. It's the transition that is important. Heating up and down (doesn't have to be by much, I guess)

Enzymes evolved to facilitate chemical reactions at reduced temp. Life does not need higher temperatures to achieve critical reactions.

In humans it needs 98.6F... :-) WAY warmer than the moon or Mars... :-)

Apr 02, 2019
I find it funny that the religious guys always argue that only life can create life but they never say anything about what created this living god of theirs. It's like they're debunking their own arguments.

Also, religious people calling science a religion as if degrading science. Yet, they themselves are religious and believe in old written things never confirmed by anything. I rather have believe in science and facts than in stories and myths.
says cortez

Who are these 'religious guys' you speak of? I know it isn't me, since I don't subscribe to any manmade religion. This is 'religion of science' to believe that the first life forms were somehow slapped together from molecules with the ability to procreate right then and there, and then evolve. Without the immediate ability to procreate/divide, they would have expired forthwith, decaying back into their origins.
Why do you ask about the origins of the Creator? He created the Universe and all that is in it.

Apr 02, 2019
@SEU,

Of course this science has become a religion. The religion of attributing the onset of life to inorganic materials is religious zeal. Did you and all other human life emanate/arise from sand/clay/slime or a combination thereof, or did you have parents from whence you emerged? ORGANIC PARENTS, that is. Take your time to think.


Life is not an on/off switch. There is a chemical progression from non-life to life, and it's hard to say precisely where non-life becomes life in said progression.

Of course we all came from the muck -- whence else could we have come? Random chemical processes gradually became more and more life-like, until they were definitely what we would call life. Life isn't magic. Life is chemistry. I see no evidence for anything else.

Random chance produces new information. Computer science students prove this every semester. Random chance is extremely creative.

Apr 02, 2019
I do have to say, at this juncture, that if there is only one thing a god needed to "create", it's CHANGE... :-)


Apr 02, 2019
Activity of water however is the most important driving force in biochemistry - it is directly or indirectly involved in nearly all processes regardless of the life form at issue. High water activity is almost certainly a deterrent to an abiotic origin.

I'm just sayin' something in the heat process deforms a chemical collection and the cooling process allows an altered reformation. It's the transition that is important. Heating up and down (doesn't have to be by much, I guess)

Enzymes evolved to facilitate chemical reactions at reduced temp. Life does not need higher temperatures to achieve critical reactions.

In humans it needs 98.6F... :-) WAY warmer than the moon or Mars... :-)
says Whyde

As far as I can tell, there were no humans at the time that the first life forms began to stir in the waters. Water boils at 212F and not many life forms could survive that temp. But the early seas were most likely not too hot and not too cold.

Apr 02, 2019
I find it funny that the religious guys always argue that only life can create life but they never say anything about what created this living god of theirs. It's like they're debunking their own arguments.

Also, religious people calling science a religion as if degrading science. Yet, they themselves are religious and believe in old written things never confirmed by anything. I rather have believe in science and facts than in stories and myths.
says Cortez

As I am not religious nor do I subscribe to any religion, I don't see why you seem vexed at my calling the science of inorganic matter somehow magically turning into a lifeform unassisted, as religious fervour. And, as the science of the beginnings of life occurred so long ago when there was only ONE of a natural intellect present that made it happen, and no other, there really is no way to confirm or deny any opinion on the matter, is there. Scientists will conjecture all they want, in any case.

Apr 02, 2019
@SEU,

Of course this science has become a religion. The religion of attributing the onset of life to inorganic materials is religious zeal. Did you and all other human life emanate/arise from sand/clay/slime or a combination thereof, or did you have parents from whence you emerged? ORGANIC PARENTS, that is. Take your time to think.


There is a chemical progression from non-life to life, and it's hard to say precisely where non-life becomes life in said progression.

Of course we all came from the muck -- whence else could we have come? Random chemical processes gradually became more and more life-like, until they were definitely what we would call life. Life isn't magic. Life is chemistry. I see no evidence for anything else.

Random chance produces new information. Computer science students prove this every semester. Random chance is extremely creative.
says obs

As a Creationist, I don't believe in 'random chance' wrt the initial, primary creation of life.

Apr 03, 2019
@SEU,

As I am not religious nor do I subscribe to any religion, I don't see why you seem vexed at my calling the science of inorganic matter somehow magically turning into a lifeform unassisted, as religious fervour. And, as the science of the beginnings of life occurred so long ago when there was only ONE of a natural intellect present that made it happen, and no other, there really is no way to confirm or deny any opinion on the matter, is there. Scientists will conjecture all they want, in any case.


You clearly are religious; you express a belief in a creator. That's a religion, by definition. If you disagree, come up with something else to call it.

Nothing magically turned into a life form unassisted; it took a long time, and was a long progression, from non-life to life, with no sharp cutoff point; there is no sharp cutoff point now, so why would there be one, then?

Your conjecture is just that. Why are you vexed at some stating that?

Apr 03, 2019
Following up on the Nature Microbiology article suggesting that life arose from thermal vents, it is critical to appreciate that this study looked only at prokaryotes. The work leaves out the most likely primordial life form - a eukaroyotic "precursor".

The tired old notion of current prokaryotes representing the initial life form is almost certainly in error. Modern prokaryotes are highly stream-lined bacterial species, completely unlike the extreme complexity found in eukaryotes, the latter making up almost all multicelluar life forms. One should not expect a stream-lined life form to evolve from scratch. Quite the opposite.

Even suggesting that prokaryotes are the "last universal common ancestor of all cells" requires special pleading. There is no evidence for this notion. It is pure conjecture.

Apr 03, 2019
@SEU,

As I am not religious nor do I subscribe to any religion, I don't see why you seem vexed at my calling the science of inorganic matter somehow magically turning into a lifeform unassisted, as religious fervour.


You clearly are religious; you express a belief in a creator. That's a religion, by definition. If you disagree, come up with something else to call it.

Nothing magically turned into a life form unassisted; it took a long time, and was a long progression, from non-life to life, with no sharp cutoff point; there is no sharp cutoff point now, so why would there be one, then?

Your conjecture is just that. Why are you vexed at some stating that?


I have no reason to be vexed at your opinions. And no, the actual Creation transcends ALL religions since the creation occurred even before humans existed. Please don't imply that Trilobites and apes also had religion as many humans do. Religions only came to be after humans were created, and not before.

Apr 03, 2019
Following up on the Nature Microbiology article suggesting that life arose from thermal vents, it is critical to appreciate that this study looked only at prokaryotes. The work leaves out the most likely primordial life form - a eukaroyotic "precursor".

The tired old notion of current prokaryotes representing the initial life form is almost certainly in error. Modern prokaryotes are highly stream-lined bacterial species, completely unlike the extreme complexity found in eukaryotes, the latter making up almost all multicelluar life forms. One should not expect a stream-lined life form to evolve from scratch. Quite the opposite.

Even suggesting that prokaryotes are the "last universal common ancestor of all cells" requires special pleading. There is no evidence for this notion. It is pure conjecture.
says dfj

Precisely. Matter of fact, I tend to believe that eukaryotes evolved separately and are the predecessors of all animal family/genuses - the reason for multicellu

Apr 03, 2019
Following up on the Nature Microbiology article suggesting that life arose from thermal vents, it is critical to appreciate that this study looked only at prokaryotes. The work leaves out the most likely primordial life form - a eukaroyotic "precursor".

Modern prokaryotes are highly stream-lined bacterial species, completely unlike the extreme complexity found in eukaryotes, the latter making up almost all multicelluar life forms.
Even suggesting that prokaryotes are the "last universal common ancestor of all cells" requires special pleading. There is no evidence for this notion. It is pure conjecture.
says dfj

Precisely. Matter of fact, I tend to believe that eukaryotes evolved separately and are the predecessors of all animal family/genuses - the reason for multicellu
- Atheists don't believe this, but the prime intention of this planet was to be home to a lifeform that exhibits intellect, reason, logic and common sense - not breeding bacteria alone.

Apr 03, 2019
@SEU,

@SEU,

You clearly are religious; you express a belief in a creator. That's a religion, by definition.


Please don't imply that Trilobites and apes also had religion as many humans do. Religions only came to be after humans were created, and not before.


I did not imply that trilobites and apes had religion; I bluntly stated you did, because you express belief in a creator. That qualifies, by definition, as a religious belief. You have also referred to Satan as if you believe Satan exists. You have stated that those who don't believe are going to eternal punishment. By definition, you have religious beliefs, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English; it doesn't matter whether they are man-made, divine-made, demon-made, psychosis-made, or whatever.

If you're going to claim you don't have a religion, please make the claim consistent with current English definitions of the word, "religion."

Apr 03, 2019
@observicist, I read your last post with considerable amusement.

Of course you realize that what you say to these people goes in one "ear", out the other. You will never get the notions of logic and deductive reasoning into their heads, much less the meaning of them.

I have spent so many hours at what you are trying to accomplish, they might grant me a second Ph.D. on debunking religious fanatics. You certainly deserve one! :o)

In the end, it is only important about what we know (science) and how that can be transformed into things that work (technology).

There is not greater proof of science than the technology derived from it. Sadly, one of the most compelling cases for reality are the remaining survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Those are people who can testify without question as to the reality of science, in no uncertain terms.

To steal a quote from the back of the Tull Aqualung LP : And man became the god he created and with his powers did rule over all the earth.

Apr 03, 2019
@SEU,

@SEU,

You clearly are religious; you express a belief in a creator. That's a religion, by definition.


...
says obs

because you express belief in a creator. That qualifies, by definition, as a religious belief. You have also referred to Satan as if you believe Satan exists. You have stated that those who don't believe are going to eternal punishment. By definition, you have religious beliefs,
If claim you don't have a religion, please make the claim consistent with current definitions of the word, "religion."


I believe in the Creator God, whose existence I know to be true. I also KNOW of the existence of Satan/Lucifer - the former first son who was an angel of God - but is no longer. There is no necessary dogma, doctrines, and other trappings of religious cults in the belief of the Creator God, however you claim it to be so. It is your wish to involve my personal beliefs in your dislike of religions for reasons of your own.

Apr 03, 2019
@observicist, I read your last post with considerable amusement.

Of course you realize that what you say to these people goes in one "ear", out the other. You will never get the notions of logic and deductive reasoning into their heads, much less the meaning of them.
I have spent so many hours at what you are trying to accomplish, they might grant me a second Ph.D. on debunking religious fanatics. You certainly deserve one! :o)
In the end, it is only important about what we know (science) and how that can be transformed into things that work (technology).
says dfj to obs

I am averse to 'religious fanaticism' and the false notion that the Earth is only 6K to 7K years old which has been taught to Bible readers as it was misinterpreted from Genesis. I also know of the coming world disasters that will eventually render the human race extinct. Science is but a TOOL for the betterment of man and to attain knowledge. But nothing will stop the coming destruction.


Apr 03, 2019
@SEU,

I have no religion; the only religions I dislike are the ones people attempt to shove down my throat.

I also have a dislike of people who are not honest about having a religion; you come immediately to mind. Your stated beliefs fit the definition of the English word, "religion." So, apply it to yourself, or shut up about it. You're not being honest.

I don't think humanity will destroy itself. I'm so glad you're so confident it's going to happen. People who have such confidence in the end of the world often try to help bring it about because they believe it's part of "God's Plan," and think God needs help with it. I truly wonder if you're one of those. If I find out I live next to you, I'm moving, because you are psychotic, and, with all your threats the other day, you're clearly a danger either to yourself or to others.

You think you're a space alien possessing a human host, and you know nothing of science. Go peddle your papers elsewhere.

Be honest.

Apr 03, 2019
@dfj
@obs
So believe as you will. It is of no consequence to anyone. Technology is a marvelous accomplishment of science/engineering, but humans lack enough intelligence overall to use that technology and all the knowledge that is available to undergo the changes that are required to bring humans into the next phase of their development. Humans wonder WHY other sentient beings in the Cosmos are not presenting themselves to the human race. All you have to do is to read and listen to the media to understand that humans are still not far removed from their ape/gorilla ancestors from whence they received their DNA/RNA so long ago by Earth standards.
In your haste and lack of understanding the realities, you attempt to PROVE your superiority and intelligence to each other, and each of you are grateful for the recognition that you receive from each other, as though that recognition should improve your own personal opinions of yourselves as well as others. You are retarded by choice.

Apr 03, 2019
Back to the origins of life. There are two likely scenarios:

A) All of the ingredients are in solution, and membranes form from some agitation, and this results in lipid "bags" to contain the ingredients. Repeat this process randomly, and you will get a nearly infinite variety of encapsulated elements and compounds. If even one of these has the right ingredients, life could arise.

B) Life arose on a "surface" of some kind. Silicates are a commonly used example since they are abundant in the biosphere. Such surfaces are capable of adsorbing a large variety of chemicals, and concentrating them due to their close contact with the surface. They are not dilute as in large bodies of water. As the surface adsorbs more and more materials, reactions can begin to occur with the surface and with its accumulated residue. From this complex mix, life could arise and evolve into its present form, all the time bound to a surface until it was no longer needed.

Apr 03, 2019
@dfj,

Thank you.

I also have an additional degree in Comparative Religion -- a Master's Degree. I think religion is fascinating, even though I'm a atheist.

I just want people to be honest about it -- that's pretty much all. I still can't figure out where @SEU got that I implied trilobites and apes had religion. I never said or implied that -- not even close.

I just want @SEU to be honest about having religious beliefs. Until he does so, he's not being honest.

I can't help trying to teach people. I want to discover and spread knowledge. Unfortunately, there are people suffering from the Galileo Fallacy on every science site. "Don't you people understand that redshift can't explain this?", and then they go on to prove, unintentionally, that they don't have the first idea what redshift actually is!

But I can't give up.

Apr 03, 2019
@SEU,

You are retarded by choice.


Unfortunately for you, you are paranoid schizophrenic, not by choice, except that you won't seek treatment -- that's your choice. (I can't be sure of that without giving you a personal examination, but I don't live in the UK, and I'm not longer a licensed clinical psychologist -- I gave it up for physics and mathematics. I'm no longer a musician, either. A man can have several professions if he lives long enough, and I have. In that respect, I'm very lucky.)

As you used the word, "petrol," in a previous comment, I have a suspicion you live in the UK. The UK has a marvelous, free, universal health-care system, and that includes mental disorders.

Please seek treatment. You will feel much better.

Apr 04, 2019
I would appreciate a link to:

"overwhelming biological evidence of an RNA world.....which netted two Nobel Prizes.

Overwhelming is a vastly overused term.


I can't give just one link, since it is several claims.

RNA world: https://en.wikipe...NA_world (It is a starter article, not very good. I can't see much of the evoltionary evidence such as RNA being a DNA metabolic precursor, and the use of nucleic acids in key metabolic, translation and membrane transport molecules.)

Nobel Prize in chemistry 1989 for discovery of ribozymes: https://www.nobel...summary/ (Actually 2 Prizes).

Nobel Prize in chemistry 2009 for elucidation of the translation machine ribosome ribozyme:
https://www.nobel...release/ (Actually 3 prizes.)

Mea culpa: 5 Prizes, 2 times.


Apr 04, 2019
The link you provided in Nature Microbiology yields no information about the sequence of biopolymer evolution in early life forms. ... It seems suspiciously fanciful to think we have hard evidence for the evolution of life on earth from pre-protein forms.


This is hard biological evidence in the form of a tree, and it does contain a lot of details on pathway information. Of course,, as always, while we can deliver hard evolutionary evidence we cannot deliver pathway details since the fossil record is fragmentary. But we don't need to.

It seems to me that you have read too little biology and too much religion (creationism) if you seriously intended what you wrote there. I cannot help you with the religious stuff except to note that we know it is wrong.

Apr 04, 2019
Additionally, it is not reasonable to believe that life arose in extreme conditions, such as those near thermal vents. Such extremophiles seen today almost certainly evolved into these niches rather than arose there. ... This is particularly so since melting of DNA and or RNA duplexes occurs at elevated temperatures and is unlikely to have arisen in such harsh environs.


Again, it seems to me you have not read the paper. We knew, as the study tests yet again, that extremophiles is at the root of the evolutionary tree, from overall genome, from the common ancestor metabolic pathway and from the heat chock proteins that very precisely indicate 70 degC as the LUCA environment. I had teachers that worked that out a decade ago.

And yes, the hot/cold RNA melting cycle is likely a prominent reason life evolved from alkaline hydrothermal vents. Several experiments show that they work as thermophoresis reactors that PCR replicate (but non-enzymatically).

Apr 04, 2019
One last item. It would be a stretch that hard evidence has been found that ribosome evolution points to short random enzymatic polypeptides. .... what would be needed to cement this are proto-ribosomal structures. I am not aware that such complexes still exist to data mine.

Inferences are a somewhat less than overwhelming.


Science is based in testing, inferences suggests hypotheses at most - trees are testable. So we don't need to work this out, but FWIW the thermophoresis work is one possible proto-ribozyme [ PCR replication: https://www.biosy...trap.pdf ; long strand replication: https://publicati...6016.pdf ].

Apr 04, 2019
There is a chemical progression from non-life to life, and it's hard to say precisely where non-life becomes life in said progression.


That is what the evidence show, my link references a half alive biosystem which heavily leaned on local "bioservices" from its ancestral geosystem. The follow up papers makes that suggestion explicitly, based on the tree evidence. And how else could it be, we expect and we see the same thing today in similar species branching.

Apr 04, 2019
@eggTROLL
I believe in the Creator God, whose existence I know to be true. I also KNOW of the existence of Satan/Lucifer - the former first son who was an angel of God - but is no longer
the specifics firmly place you in the Abrahamic religion
your admission of being a creationist place you in an x-tian sect of the Abrahamic religions

and before you lie about being religious yet again, check out the definition of "Religious":
-Having or showing belief in and reverence for God or a deity [wordnik]
-(of a belief or practice) forming part of someone's faith in a divine being.[OED]
-relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity [Merriam-Webster]

so, per your own request to clean up the site...

Apr 04, 2019
Following up on the Nature Microbiology article suggesting that life arose from thermal vents, it is critical to appreciate that this study looked only at prokaryotes. The work leaves out the most likely primordial life form - a eukaroyotic "precursor".


Not really, I recently practiced under one of the groups that have robustly placed eukaryotes as an archaea, a sister to Asgard archaea to be precise [ https://www.natur...ure14447 , https://www.natur...2017.133 , https://www.natur...ure21031 ].

And of course that recent evolution [ https://www.natur...8-0644-x ] has no bearing on the universal common ancestor to prokaryotes.

As it happened one of my teachers discovered the lineage [ https://www.pnas..../15/7749 ], so I could hardly avoid recognizing the progress. Again, read the first paper I linked to, it has all of this.

Apr 04, 2019
Back to the origins of life. There are two likely scenarios: ...


So you come from the POV of now minority and local (mostly US) biochemistry side, I take it? I am now a biologist (bioinformatician) by training.

Well, the paper I gave as first reference shows such non-biological work is unlikely since we now have a tree. And FWIW vents has surfaces, even if it is pores that does the concentration of biochemicals and provide cellular size compartments before they had to evolve, et cetera.

Hadean alkaline hydrothermal vents had all the necessary and (according to the first detailed tree work that far back) sufficient ingredients - since it may have been the ancestor of life. It could drive reactions; separate and concentrate biochemicals; synthesize sugars, nucleobases, lipids and catch amino acids from atmospheric Miller synthesis; and PCR replicate and evolve "bioservices" supporting nucleotide strands.

Long discussion, same point(s); I bail for now.

Apr 04, 2019
Oh, I see now: "So you come from the POV of ... biochemistry side ...?"

That may explain the obsession with precise (and chemical) pathways. It is funny how much alike creationists and biochemists look from the outside! Also tells some how basically untestable it is if you ask for completeness, since we don't have all the genomes from all organisms that ever existed.

But we have testable evidence, which is, you know, "necessary and sufficient" in the deductive sense.

Apr 04, 2019
The issue is the initial pathway to life, not trace remnants still exisiting of a past biochemistry we can only dream of. Ribozymes are unique, but no real difference from t-RNA and other such RNAs used in existing mechanisms. Another remnant - no clear link to the past.

Predominance of thermophile relationship is because some bugs evolved into these hot niches, and were much more robust to all of the nasty conditions during major extinction events, which would have peaked billions of years ago, when they arose. No surprise really, but a very interesting linkage. Certainly no proof of their true origin.

Since almost all of your posts deal with current organisms and do not relate to the issue at hand, they are too peripheral for my interest. I do appreciate your belief in an ancient eukaryote as the potential primary life form, if I read that correctly. This might reverse the endosymbiotic theory, suggesting that organelles escaped and became prokaryotes.

Apr 04, 2019
@SEU,

You are retarded by choice.


Unfortunately for you, you are paranoid schizophrenic, not by choice, except that you won't seek treatment -- that's your choice. (I can't be sure of that without giving you a personal examination, but I don't live in the UK, and I'm not longer a licensed clinical psychologist -- I gave it up for physics and mathematics. I'm no longer a musician, either. A man can have several professions if he lives long enough, and I have. In that respect, I'm very lucky.)

As you used the word, "petrol," in a previous comment, I have a suspicion you live in the UK. The UK has a marvelous, free, universal health-care system, and that includes mental disorders.

Please seek treatment. You will feel much better.
says obs

You seem to have a need to project what you have learnt from the Psychology field onto those with whom you are unfamiliar. That you and I disagree on many issues may be the reason for all your projections and conjecture.

Apr 04, 2019
As a per-emptive post against any suggestions that endosymbiosis is locked in place due to some observation(s), do keep in mind that any evidence suggesting this can also be used to suggest that it went the other way! This is another conundrum that will not easily be solved.

After all, both mitochondria and chloroplasts have their own DNA, if not complete. If the primoridal cell form was indeed proto-eukaryotic, it would likely have been complex, with multiple organelles and possibly even nuclei. With this complexity comes the advantage of redundancy for critical functions.

We haven't even got to replication and cell division. There is another wild one. What is the evolutionary driving force to replicate a "trapped" complex biochemical mixture? Almost certainly pre-protein, it is this driving force which might provide clues to some aspects of a primordial origin. Or not!

Apr 04, 2019
says obs
I also have an additional degree in Comparative Religion -- a Master's Degree. I think religion is fascinating, even though I'm a atheist.
- obs' revelation of his superiority complex

I just want people to be honest about it -- that's pretty much all. I still can't figure out where @SEU got that I implied trilobites and apes had religion. I never said or implied that -- not even close.
- It was strictly 'tongue in cheek' - something which your superiority complex disallows

I just want @SEU to be honest about having religious beliefs. Until he does so, he's not being honest.
- which religion do you prefer? I still have none regardless of what YOU believe

I can't help trying to teach people. I want to discover and spread knowledge. Unfortunately, there are people suffering from the Galileo Fallacy on every science site.

But I can't give up.
- You silly little man. Your biases prevent you from discovering much of anything of any use.

Apr 04, 2019
The late heavy bombardment occurred ca. 4.1 to 3.8 billion years BP (wiki). Since this time spans 0.3 billion years, it is reasonable to assume major hits continued for 10s of millions of years after this on a semi-regular basis. These would be massive impacts that today would destroy all life on earth. Sadly no record of such extinctions exist, and there was not much to go extinct!

Coincidentally, this is right around the time life must have been forming on the planet. One would expect biogenesis requiring a certain time period where the pre-biosphere (back then) was not excessively hot. Any who have read my post on the activity of atoms and molecules should understand why this would be required.

On top of all this, many of these impactors were likely large comets, carrying a lot of water. This combination would result in a rather high humidity given the heat of impactors and early volcanism. So, development of an atmosphere is also critical, but almost certainly free of O2.

Apr 04, 2019
@torbjorn_b_g_larsson, as I recall it must have been a reducing environment initially to have maintained RNA stability, but you would have better knowledge of that. I believe the deoxyribose polymer (DNA) is much more chemically stable than its ribose analog (RNA). My expertise is in protein structure-function. Do hope I remember this correctly. :o)

Apr 05, 2019
@SEU,

- You silly little man. Your biases prevent you from discovering much of anything of any use.


It's true that I'm biased -- against dishonesty.

I have found that silliness can be a great boost to any life, as well as humor and honesty -- all of which you lack entirely.

Apr 05, 2019
@SEU,

- You silly little man. Your biases prevent you from discovering much of anything of any use.


It's true that I'm biased -- against dishonesty.

I have found that silliness can be a great boost to any life, as well as humor and honesty -- all of which you lack entirely.
says observersist

You are entitled to your own opinion of anyone, however wrong. I've noticed that you are a 'cheerleader' for dishonesty amongst your several 'friends' in this science site. But of course you need allies, those in which you place your trust and faith to have mutual agreements with you. That's fine. Keep it up. Invite them to your home even. Nobody will notice.

Apr 05, 2019
The longer @Satan_Egg_Unit posts, the more it reveals itself as another nutjob antiscience YEC.

This individual isn't here to promote physorg. It is here to try to destroy it.

Such individuals should be permanently banned from posting here. As all other spammers are.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more