Prebiotic RNA making peptides

Carl Franklin franklin at easynet.co.uk
Mon Dec 12 16:42:26 EST 1994


Last year a British scientist wrote a paper which suggested that a
single strand of RNA, if attached to a solid, eg clay, could take on
a conformation capable of simply trapping amino acids to form a
peptide. (Origins of Life & Evolution of the Biosphere, Vol 23, p261).

The RNA forms clefts bordered by three bases, which determine the
3D configuration of the clefts, and hence which amino acids could
be trapped. The 64 possible combinations all matched those in the
present genetic code, including the start and stop codes.

If true, the theory might show a possible origin of
the genetic code and its rules, eg 3 bases, non-overlapping.

I wrote about the theory in New Scientist (Oct 2nd, 1993, UK)
and Natural History magazine (USA) gave it a couple of pages
in the June 1994 issue. I am keen to find out if anyone is testing
this theory, and if so, would they be prepared to talk to me
about their work? What do people think about this? 

I have checked the archives for this group and can find
no reference to this paper.

Over to you.

Carl Franklin
franklin at easynet.co.uk




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