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Huge (I think) News from the World of Biochemistry


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This is about a week old, so some may have already seen it.

 

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/chemists-find-recipe-may-have-jump-started-life-earth

 

Quote

ATLANTA—In the molecular dance that gave birth to life on Earth, RNA appears to be a central player. But the origins of the molecule, which can store genetic information as DNA does and speed chemical reactions as proteins do, remain a mystery. Now, a team of researchers has shown for the first time that a set of simple starting materials, which were likely present on early Earth, can produce all four of RNA’s chemical building blocks.

Those building blocks—cytosine, uracil, adenine, and guanine—have previously been re-created in the lab from other starting materials. In 2009, chemists led by John Sutherland at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom devised a set of five compounds likely present on early Earth that could give rise to cytosine and uracil, collectively known as pyrimidines. Then, 2 years ago, researchers led by Thomas Carell, a chemist at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, reported that his team had an equally easy way to form adenine and guanine, the building blocks known as purines. But the two sets of chemical reactions were different. No one knew how the conditions for making both pairs of building blocks could have occurred in the same place at the same time.

Now, Carell says he may have the answer. On Tuesday, at the Origins of Life Workshop here, he reported that he and his colleagues have come up with a simple set of reactions that could have given rise to all four RNA bases.

 

As this layperson understands it, this is a giant leap forward in the effort to confirm abiogenesis.  I haven't been around much lately, but if I remember correctly, I think that The Redneck Professor is a biochemist.  Maybe he or someone else with similar qualifications can clarify exactly how significant this discovery is.

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53 minutes ago, WarriorPoet said:

This is about a week old, so some may have already seen it.

 

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/chemists-find-recipe-may-have-jump-started-life-earth

 

 

As this layperson understands it, this is a giant leap forward in the effort to confirm abiogenesis.  I haven't been around much lately, but if I remember correctly, I think that The Redneck Professor is a biochemist.  Maybe he or someone else with similar qualifications can clarify exactly how significant this discovery is.

 

That seems the most likely option. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets hammered down further with evidence.  

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Makes me wish I was smart

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It's an important small step, for sure.  Many scientists have been working on this for quite some time.

 

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Probably won't change the religious view of God. They will just push it back to god set the big bang off and let life arise using natural means.

 

But as far as science goes, very exciting. Thanks for posting.

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On 10/24/2018 at 7:53 AM, WarriorPoet said:

This is about a week old, so some may have already seen it.

 

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/chemists-find-recipe-may-have-jump-started-life-earth

 

 

As this layperson understands it, this is a giant leap forward in the effort to confirm abiogenesis.  I haven't been around much lately, but if I remember correctly, I think that The Redneck Professor is a biochemist.  Maybe he or someone else with similar qualifications can clarify exactly how significant this discovery is.

 

Of course abiogenesis means life coming from chemistry. This article, and related discoveries, are very interesting and could be related to such a process. But this new process whereby all 4 RNA elemental chemicals could be formed, only shows that under similar conditions this could happen, not necessarily how it actually did happen. Besides their creation of these four chemistries to form RNA, it is also necessary for their assembly after their creation, as well as considering how the conditions for their creation could have happened naturally.

 

These processes may enable someone to eventually create a living entity from chemistry, which is the primary goal, but after this they need to theorize where such natural conditions might have existed, if in fact these were the methods whereby they formed naturally. 

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6 hours ago, pantheory said:

These processes may enable someone to eventually create a living entity from chemistry, which is the primary goal, but after this they need to theorize where such natural conditions might have existed, if in fact these were the methods whereby they formed naturally. 

 

Well this is where the religious will always stop isn't it? Let say we do manage to find a way for molecules to life process. We don't know that it was THAT way that life started on earth, only that its possible under the conditions demonstrated.

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Back when I was a Christian, news like this made me uneasy.  Like there might soon be one less gap for God to hide in.  It’s so good not having to fear new knowledge now. 

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On 11/12/2018 at 4:06 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

Probably won't change the religious view of God. They will just push it back to god set the big bang off and let life arise using natural means.

 

I have no doubt how creationists would respond. They'd say something like, "Look, it took a living, intelligent being in a lab to create this. That proves intelligent design!"

 

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On 11/14/2018 at 10:27 PM, Citsonga said:

 

I have no doubt how creationists would respond. They'd say something like, "Look, it took a living, intelligent being in a lab to create this. That proves intelligent design!"

 

Except it didn’t.  They only made conditions that would have been present on the early earth.  The chemical reactions happened on their own.

 

To what LF said earlier, you are right.  Even if abiogenesis is ever achieved, all we will have discovered is A way that it can happen.  We don’t know if there are multiple possibilities, and if there are, we likely won’t know which of those possibilities actually occurred.

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21 minutes ago, WarriorPoet said:

Except it didn’t.  They only made conditions that would have been present on the early earth.  The chemical reactions happened on their own.

 

Except it doesn't matter to creationists. They'll point to the human intelligence involved in the experiment and argue that it proves intelligent design. That's how creationists operate. They have an agenda that doesn't rely on playing fairly with the facts.

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