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Regarding DNA/RNA replication

  1. May 31, 2010 #1
    I recently saw some rather neat real-time replications of DNA being replicated in my Chemistry class (Still in High School). The intersting thing is that this requires some astoundingly complex enzymes to work. I would take a wild guess and say that an RNA-based organism would have a significantly simpler replication system, but what I cannot quite wrap my head around is how RNA and these, well, nanomachines of enzymes would end up emerging at the same time; as my chemistry teacher said, "It's almost enough to make you religious".

    The only thing I could imagine would be a replicating enzyme actually building the strings in the first place from loose phosphates, ribose and nitrogen bases.

    Any thought or insight into this? Actually, any further information on this in general would be of interest to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2010 #2


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  4. May 31, 2010 #3
    Ah, very interesting. Thanks a lot.
  5. Jun 8, 2010 #4


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    The problem with that line of thinking is, it only reflects on modern cellular machinery-some 3.5+ billion years in the making.

    A replication system doesn't have to be perfect (nor even sensible), it only has to allow one thing to happen-Evolution by natural selection. Once a system arises capable of that then were off the races.

    Replication could be something as simple as polymerizing polynucleosides (which do so in the presence of UV light), 'competing' for available nuleosides.
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