To determine how the Earth went from a lifeless rock to one teeming with life, Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology "have found one crucial clue: iron and RNA."
The team managed to re-create conditions of life on Earth 3 billion years ago and"revived" a function of RNA that may have subsided after the rise of DNA.
Life as we know it depends on the precise interplay of DNA, the double-helix molecular structure that safeguards genetic code, with RNA and proteins. But many scientists -- among them Francis Crick, who, with James Watson, discovered DNA -- have theorized that early life could have relied on RNA alone. The debate has been a chicken-and-egg affair for decades.
Researchers swayed by the RNA-first theory are intrigued by ribozymes, a type of RNA, discovered in the 1980s, that acts as an enzyme -- a role once thought to be exclusive to proteins. Its discovery was the beginning of a shift in the view that RNA was mostly a temporary replica of DNA that acted as a "messenger" to transfers genetic code. RNA's mysterious shape-shifting and complicated role has further increased scientists' curiosity about its evolution.
|Schrödinger's Cat Explained in Just Under Two Minutes|
|Region of the Brain That Controls Ageing Discovered|
|Why Roller Coaster Loops Are Not Perfect Circles|
|The Human Mind is a Wandering Mind, and a Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind|
|Alien Hunters Should Look for Artificial Intelligence|
|“Facebook played a 'determining role' in stirring up hatred against Rohingya Muslims.”|
|“The Pentagon’s relatively quiet tip-toe into converting the U.S. Armed Forces to a machine-majority force.”|
|“The idea is that someday in the future scientists will scan your bricked brain and turn it into a computer simulation.”|
|Future Horizon's Plasma Lightsabers|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|3D Printed $10,000 House|
|“Clearly, no one is going to build weapons that have sufficient general intelligence to, for example, decide and execute a plan to take over the world.”|
|“Contains all the same components as cow’s milk, [...] but doesn’t use any animals in its production process.”|
|“New green policies so hard-hitting and extensive they can be felt across the world.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“I am a philosopher, and we tend to deal more with nightmares.”|