Friday, May 15, 2009

Fiat Vita!

A recent article in Nature has just blown me away. Apparently, scientists at the University of Manchester have been able to produce ribonucleotides in the lab under pre-biotic conditions. That means that the building blocks of RNA, a building block of DNA, can be produced in the chemistry and conditions of Earth before life began. This is even bigger than the Urey-Miller experiment in the 1950s, not only because the chemistry more accurately represents the early Earth, but also because this was a major hurdle to the RNA world hypothesis, that life began with self-replicating RNA molecules. See the summary here.

I'm only a small bit weary because it is said articles in Nature have a tendency to be wrong because the magazine is so prestigious that scientists feel inclined to extend the results of their experiments beyond what the data allows. However, this seems to be a bit more direct.

So, this means that this is a new piece of evidence that strongly indicates that the Earth had the chemistry to allow life to originate on the planet without outside sources, be that panspermia or divine intervention. It's studies like this that make me wish I took more biology. This is simply awesome.

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