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PostPosted: 04 Nov 2007, 00:22 
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Study suggests how DNA building block might have formed

Nov. 2, 2007
Courtesy University of Georgia
and World Science staff

Many ex­pe­ri­ments have shown it: sim­ple mo­le­cules can com­bine chem­ic­ally—out­side of liv­ing things—to form the build­ing blocks of DNA, the key com­po­nent of life. But just how this com­bina­t­ion oc­curs is un­known. Sci­en­tists want to find out, since that might ex­plain how DNA orig­i­nat­ed.

The basic structure of DNA. (Courtesy U.S. Nat'l Library of Medicine)
Now, chem­ists have pro­posed what they call the first de­tailed, fea­si­ble ac­count of how one of DNA’s ma­jor build­ing blocks could have aris­en on an ear­ly, life­less Earth. The nec­es­sary in­gre­di­ents: five cy­a­nide mo­le­cules, they said.

Where “bio­mole­cules,” such as DNA’s com­po­nents, orig­i­nat­ed is­n’t known, said Un­ivers­ity of Geor­gia chem­ist Paul von Ra­gué Schle­yer, one of the re­search­ers.


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