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Spontaneous Formation of RNA in Volcanic Glass! Origin of prebiotic RNA?

Huasca Basaltic Formations, in Hildago State, México. Image: Inés Urdaneta

By Dr. Inés Urdaneta, Physicist at Resonance Science Foundation

The origin of prebiotic RNA (ribonucleic acid) is one of the deepest mysteries in biology.

RNA and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) are nucleic acids; macromolecules called biopolymers, and they are essential in life, since they play a critical role in biological processes such as coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. RNA is assembled as a chain of nucleotides (monomers composed of 5-carbon sugars, phosphates groups and a nitrogenous base), just like DNA, but unlike DNA that has a paired double strand, RNA is found in nature as a single strand folded onto itself. If the sugar involved is ribose, the biopolymer is RNA; if the sugar is the ribose derivative deoxyribose, the resulting biopolymer is DNA.

Cellular organisms use messenger RNA (mRNA) to bring genetic information that directs synthesis of specific...

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