Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life Found a Way

For a while now, we’ve known that the formation of RNA was probably the first step on the road to the emergence of life from Earth’s primordial ooze. It’s the single-stranded ancestor of DNA, the building block of biology that all creationists don’t really get and that all rapists ultimately fear. RNA still exists in our cells, flittering here and there, transferring information. So we know what it’s made of. Only, we couldn’t synthesize it ourselves. Until now, apparently. Scientists at the University of Manchester have created RNA from its base components through a process not unlike what could have happened in Earth’s younger years. Basically, the component molecules were combined through a series of condensations and evaporations, which was the key in making the whole thing work. Previously, scientists had been trying to just slap all of RNA’s ingredients together in an old pickle barrel. Or something like that. More (and better informed) details here. And thanks to Tim for the link.

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