Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by John J. Bannan, Jul 5, 2007.
How did DNA come into existence?
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I read in Scientific American about some new research into what ``life'' actually means. (This is a thought that sci-fi writers toy with---silicon, for example, makes many of the same organic compounds as carbon, and one could at least imagine a silicon based life-form.)
I wish I could remember the details of the study, but it seemed to me that DNA is only one of many possible routes to encode genetic information. Some of the remedial chemicals were nitrogen based compounds---I think the researcher was interested in the very beginnings of ``life''.
I think it was either last month's edition---you can probably find it in a library or if you have a friend who subscribes to it, you may be able to swipe it from him.
(Also, in The Economist a few weeks ago, there was a nice article about RNA---some scientists now believe that RNA is much more interesting than DNA, and that this is where all the action REALLY happens. But I'm no biologist.)
Silicon makes organic compounds? that's a new one on me. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Silicon is actually a very poor comparison when it comes to the array of compounds of carbon.
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I know all about it, I read a thingie here when I asked'm about it. Ummm grr I can't find it it's to many threads to look through, but I asked it and got good ansers
God did it Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
It was Gods first blunder.
Ok fair enough---I was just giving an example. I did think, though, that many of the organic compounds that are fundamental to life had analogues with carbons replaced by all or some silicons?
Is man one of God's blunders? Or is God one of man's blunders?
Not really, it's just the next best thing probably. No serious scientists serching for life give it much of a consideration. I could look it up if you like but the difference of available compounds for the two compounds is several orders of magnetude.
:shh: ***(I hope nietzschefan doesn´t read this)***
Current thinking has it developing from RNA. Which raises the question of hwo the RNA evolved. A couple of researchers haev proposed that the original coding was from crystals. Cairns-Smith favours clay minerals - which can get pretty complex; someone else (who? who?) favours pyrites - which is good because it can tie in with developing primitive metabolisms.
The scientific consensus is that it evolved from self-replicating inanimate matter.
Theres too much to explain if you want details. Therefore i suggest you order yourself a good book on Biological Sience. Try Gould & Keeton's.
There is a very curious but legitimate theory around scientific circles, it says- One day God decided to recycle some of the interstellar garbage, and he came up with an ingenius idea...
From goo to you.
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This topic has been discussed many times on Sciforums. First we had to have had an aggregation of molecules (primordial soup) encapsulated within some type of membrane (the bubble theory or clay theory) along with some type of means for duplicating them through catalyzed reactions. We are all pretty much in agreement that RNA came first and this led to what is commonly referred to as the RNA World with ribozymes. We have not been able to duplicate the exact evolutionary process that led to DNA.
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