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Author Topic: Molecule that replicates has been created:  (Read 4539 times)

Offline Raghavendra

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Molecule that replicates has been created:
« on: 26/03/2009 11:24:51 »
A new molecule that performs the essential function of life - self-replication - could shed light on the origin of all living things.

If that wasn't enough, the laboratory-born ribonucleic acid (RNA) strand evolves in a test tube to double itself ever more swiftly.

"Obviously what we're trying to do is make a biology," says Gerald Joyce, a biochemist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He hopes to imbue his team's molecule with all the fundamental properties of life: self-replication, evolution, and function.

Joyce and colleague Tracey Lincoln made their chemical out of RNA because most researchers think early life stored information in this sister molecule to DNA. And unlike the stuff of our genomes, RNA molecules can catalyse chemical reactions.

"We're trying to jump in at the last signpost we have back there in the early history of life,"

But i too was thinking how? :o

Molecule Bew

Rather than start with RNA enzymes - ribozymes - present in other organisms, Joyce's team created its own molecule from scratch, called R3C. It performed a single function: stitching two shorter RNA molecules together to create a clone of itself.

Further lab tinkering made this molecule better at copying itself, but this is not the same as bringing it to life. It self-replicated to a point, but eventually clogged up in shapes that could no longer sew RNA pieces together. "It was a real dog," Joyce says.

To improve R3C, Lincoln redesigned the molecule to forge a sister RNA that could itself join two other pieces of RNA into a functioning ribozyme. That way, each molecule makes a copy of its sister, a process called cross replication. The population of two doubles and doubles until there are no more starting bits of RNA left

 For further details....


http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16382-artificial-molecule-evolves-in-the-lab.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news


 

Offline Karen W.

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Molecule that replicates has been created:
« Reply #1 on: 09/04/2009 10:03:21 »
That sounds like some very complicated engineering involved there in order to get the successiob to continue on until full developement... I am sure I am not really understanding all the implications of this if and when they have fully accomplished the whoe thing....

 Could you break that down a bit more for me (explain in easier terms)as I think I am not quite understanding weather they actually ended up with a dog or what.. I have read it three times and for some reason..I am lost.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Molecule that replicates has been created:
« Reply #2 on: 09/04/2009 13:15:11 »
 

Offline Karen W.

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Molecule that replicates has been created:
« Reply #3 on: 09/04/2009 18:16:06 »
Thanks  Stefan....I have read the link..and am concerned that my wee brain needs to read it a few more times as I cannot quite understand it all yet!
« Last Edit: 10/04/2009 07:27:12 by Karen W. »
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Molecule that replicates has been created:
« Reply #4 on: 10/04/2009 01:36:25 »
Well the experiment had nothing to do with dogs. It seems the author was just expressing frustration at the inefficiency of the earlier replicators they produced.

If there is anything else that's confusing you, don't be afraid to describe which parts :)
 

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Molecule that replicates has been created:
« Reply #4 on: 10/04/2009 01:36:25 »

 

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