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Origins Of Life On Earth Through Molecular Function: Study Sheds Light In Process

By Piyali Roy staff@sciencetimes.com | May 24, 2017 02:01 AM EDT

When the life started on earth, obviously it was small. Various elements joined for forming simple carbon-based molecules and then next steps began to occur. Till now there has been lots of debate on the origins of life after the forming of simple carbon-based molecules.

As Phys.org cited, the researchers from the University of Illinois has shed light on the origins of life through molecular function. The research has been led by Caetano-Anolles and Ibrahim Koc from the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. They have found some proof for the "metabolism-first" hypothesis with the help of the study of evolutions of molecular functions in the organisms.

There are already two hypotheses on which debate was going on for the origins of life. One well-known theory proposes that ribonucleic acid (RNA) particles that contain the hereditary outlines for proteins and can perform straightforward compound responses, kick-began life. Few scientists do not agree with this theory of RNA particles stating that RNA is too big for starting life and it's a game of molecule.

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Science Daily reported that the group of scientist who disagreed with the RNA theory for the origins of life stated that it was the simpler molecules which had the ability for performing metabolic functions. It was not the RNA which could have built such functions. This is only known as 'metabolism-first' theory which has now been proved to be truer.

In the research study of origins of life, scientists examined 249 organisms. Their genomes, which are the complete set of their genes, were accessed in a database, known as Gene Ontology (GO) database. In the study, researchers have studied the number of times function appears in a genome because this can provide the historical information of that set of genes.

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