Ep 255: Prebiotic evolution part 2: DNA and RNA



Prebiotic evolution part 2: DNA and RNA

DNA cannot copy itself. It needs enzymes, very large complicated proteins to replicate from one cell to a new one. The way the proteins are produced requires DNA and RNA. All three types of molecule have to be present in a cell for the cell to work. What exactly are DNA and RNA, and how did all this complicated business get started? Join us for the conclusion of our look at the evolution that happened before evolution.

Here’s something about how the sugar needed to make RNA has been detected in meteorites.

Ribose, a sugar needed for life, has been detected in meteorites

Here are a couple of articles about a couple of experiments, attempting to recreate some of the conditions of the early solar system, to see what sorts of molecules important for life could have formed before our planet was even here.

The “R” in RNA can easily be made in space, and that has implications for life beyond Earth

Key sugar for life on Earth could have formed in space

Here’s a bit about the phosphate backbone used by RNA and DNA.

phosphate backbone

Here’s a video on the RNA world—a notion that RNA was able to copy itself and evolve, and eventually give rise to the system that cells use today.

What Is the RNA World Hypothesis?





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