RNA vs. DNA

Matthew Weed weed-matthew at cs.yale.edu
Tue Apr 20 13:38:23 EST 1993


In article <01GX8DW113YE9LV29T at NBRF.Georgetown.Edu> POSTMASTER at NBRF.GEORGETOWN.EDU writes:
>weed-matthew at suned.zoo.cs.yale.edu replying to derekr at yang.earlham.edu 
>writes:
>> Such things as RNA's ability to catalyze its own replication,
>> (something DNA can't do),
>
>Let us be clear that you are discussing catalysis as dintinguished from
>serving as a template.
Yes, I meant that RNA can catalyze its own replication,
Something DNA can not do without help from proteins.(according to the latest material I have
read on the matter, but doubtless others know more.
>
>> RNA's ability interact with amino(sp), acids directly,
>> (something which I believe can't happen in DNA),
>
>Certainly both RNA and DNA can and do interact with proteins.
>
I didn't say proteins, I said amino(sp),
acids, as in the ability of RNA to interact with amino acids to form T-RNAs.
>The main difference between RNA and DNA is the presence of the 2-hydroxy group
>in RNA.  It is chemically (and biochemically) simpler to synthesize ribose as
>opposed to 2-deoxyribose.  Because of the 2-hydroxy groups, RNA is more
>chemically reactive; that is both a boon and a bane.  While probably confers
>more catalytic ability, it also introduces more chemical instability especially
>under some assumed primitive earth conditions (dilute, slightly basic aqueous
>solution).  In short, the RNA genome probably evolved first because it has
>chemically easier and more catalytically versatile.  The DNA genome probably
>evolved later from the RNA system because it had increased "genetic" stability.
I do not believe that any of my first post contradicted this, but 
if so, please correct me.  As I said, I am only an undergraduate,
and therefore could have made some mistakes.
>                                 Dr. John S. Garavelli
>                                 POSTMAST at GUNBRF.BITNET
>                                 POSTMASTER at NBRF.GEORGETOWN.EDU
-- 
"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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