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Before mammals, before dinosaurs, before bacteria, or plants, there was something else; a protocell containing RNA.

i-4c756422efd338ecba1f0d41066e8ec1-ribozyme.gif
The Exploring Origins Project has excellent animations of protocells, a timeline of life’s evolution, and best of all- fantastic animations of the RNA world.

You can see how RNA folds, ribozymes (RNA that catalyzes chemical reactions), and learn about the role of RNA when the Earth was young.

BTW- I made this ribozyme image with Cn3D. The RNA is synthetic – made by humans with machines, that is, and this molecule can cut chemical bonds.

Comments

  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    November 7, 2008

    Wow! I love that website’s animations!

    It’s funny, the more I read about the role of RNA–everything from tiny RNA’s to ERV’s–the more I realize that we’re still living in an RNA world. DNA and proteins (from RNA’s perspective) are just tools that RNA uses to do its bidding more efficiently.

    It’s also funny, the more I read about abiogenesis, the more I realize that all those chemical reactions and interactions are still going on today. Abiogenesis wasn’t some event that once happened and then gave way to evolution; abiogenesis is an ongoing process that has existed ever since there have been organic molecules in aqueous environments.

  2. #2 Dov Henis
    January 30, 2010

    Is’nt It Still An RNA World?

    A. “RNAs Mysterious Ways”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/240/122.page#4567

    is a comment on:
    “Translation Revelation
    More findings confirm that small RNAs work in mysterious ways.”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/56173/

    B. Is’nt It Still An RNA World?

    I conjecture that a scientifically commonsensical further unraveling of the mysterious ways of RNAs would follow:

    - 1st, acceptance of the revelation of the commonsensical lifehood of genes, of the concept presented in “Updated Life’s Manifest May 2009″
    http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/140/122.page#2321

    - 2nd, a rational resolution of the question if/when the initial, independent pre-biometabolism direct sunlight-fueled genes were RNAs and if/when they “evolved” their DNA-images as operational libraries prior to celling and genoming. They most probably synthesized (and nucleusized) their DNAs libraries as their organ to serve as their environmentally stabler works memory core,
    and

    - 3rd, a resolution of the scientifically rational possibility that ALL RNAs are representative of the original archae-genes that since their (life) genesis have been and still are the primary actors, assessors, messengers, operators of all life processes,
    and

    - 4th, acceptance of the rational possibility that the RNAs are the environmental feedback communicators to the genomes thus signallers of the accordingly desirable biased genes expressions effectors, for enhanced energy constraining, i.e. for survival,
    and

    - 5th, effecting the genes expressions per “Genes’ Expression Modification”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/200/122.page#3649

    Suggesting,

    Dov Henis
    (Comments From The 22nd Century)
    Cosmic Evolution Simplified
    http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/240/122.page#4427

  3. #3 Emoticon Facebook|Emoticons Facebook
    August 15, 2011

    Wow, so do u mean that RNA is the older version of DNA, or am i getting it totally wrong.

  4. #4 Sandra Porter
    August 15, 2011

    RNA came before DNA.

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