RNA vs. DNA

Matthew Weed weed-matthew at cs.yale.edu
Mon Apr 19 18:59:15 EST 1993


In article <1993Apr19.141629.22806 at yang.earlham.edu> derekr at yang.earlham.edu writes:
>I was wondering...which evolved first, RNA or DNA?  I would think RNA
>would but a friend of mine said DNA evolved first but he couldn't remember
>why offhand.
>
>-Derek

I had to write a paper on this not long ago,
and am reasonably sure that RNA evolved first.
Such things as RNA's ability to catalyze its own replication,
(something DNA can't do), RNA's ability interact 
with amino(sp), acids directly, (something which I believe 
can't happen in DNA), and a few other important things like this 
would lead to such a conclusion.  Simply put, RNA-based systems for 
information storage and retrieval, though less accurate, 
are simpler mechanically, and
need fewer molecules to operate.  Of course, being an undergraduate,
I could be missing some things, and I am pretty sure that 
the question is still open for debate.


-- 
"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets 
which it must turn over to the next generation, increased and not 
impaired in value." --President Theodore Roosevelt 	Yale/Silliman:93
weed-matthew at suned.zoo.cs.yale.edu 			Matthew Weed



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