DNA may have emerged on Earth 4B years ago

DNA, the hereditary material, may have appeared on Earth earlier than has been assumed hitherto. LMU chemists led by Oliver Trapp show that a simple reaction pathway could have given rise to DNA subunits on the early Earth. How were the building-blocks...

DNA may have emerged on Earth 4B years ago
DNA, the hereditary material, may have appeared on Earth earlier than has been assumed hitherto. LMU chemists led by Oliver Trapp show that a simple reaction pathway could have given rise to DNA subunits on the early Earth. How were the building-blocks of life first formed on the early Earth? As yet, only partially satisfactory answers to this question are available. However, one thing is clear: The process of biological evolution that has given rise to the diversity of life on our planet must have been preceded by a phase of chemical evolution. During this 'prebiotic' stage, the first polymeric molecules capable of storing information and reproducing themselves were randomly assembled from organic precursors that were available on the early Earth. The most efficient replicators subsequently evolved into the macromolecular informational nucleic acids - DNA and RNA - that became the basis for all forms of life on our planet. For billions of years, DNA has been the primary carrier of...