“Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have made important steps toward understanding how life originated by shedding light on the ‘RNA World’ hypothesis. The ‘RNA World’ refers to the idea that life on Earth went through a stage where RNA was used to store information and act as a catalyst, much like DNA and proteins are used in organisms today. A critical component of this stage would be that RNA molecules would have to replicate themselves. The team at Scripps has now synthesized RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves without the help of additional molecules. These RNA-based, self-replicating systems could be a model for how life on Earth first began to operate.” — Quote from Nasa’s coverage page.
Read the entire article here: http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2999&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
The implications of this research are staggering. Not only for the depth of the knowledge we’ll get, but for the application of the science in ways to benefit us all … it’s truly a wonderful thing!