Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Researchers: Homogenous RNA could emerge from a primordial mess

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They think they might have discovered a way:

“Years ago, the naive idea that pools of pure concentrated ribonucleotides might be present on the primitive Earth was mocked by Leslie Orgel as ‘the Molecular Biologist’s Dream,'” said Jack Szostak, a Nobel Prize Laureate, professor of chemistry and chemical biology and genetics at Harvard University, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “But how relatively modern homogeneous RNA could emerge from a heterogeneous mixture of different starting materials was unknown.”

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Szostak and colleagues present a new model for how RNA could have emerged. Instead of a clean path, he and his team propose a Frankenstein-like beginning, with RNA growing out of a mixture of nucleotides with similar chemical structures: arabino- deoxy- and ribonucleotides (ANA, DNA, and RNA).

In the Earth’s chemical melting pot, it’s unlikely that a perfect version of RNA formed automatically. It’s far more likely that many versions of nucleotides merged to form patchwork molecules with bits of both modern RNA and DNA, as well as largely defunct genetic molecules, such as ANA. These chimeras, like the monstrous hybrid lion, eagle and serpent creatures of Greek mythology, may have been the first steps toward today’s RNA and DNA.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy/Harvard University, “First building blocks of life on Earth may have been messier than previously thought” at ScienceDaily

The paper is: Seohyun Chris Kim, Lijun Zhou, Wen Zhang, Derek K. O’Flaherty, Valeria Rondo-Brovetto, Jack W. Szostak. A Model for the Emergence of RNA from a Prebiotically Plausible Mixture of Ribonucleotides, Arabinonucleotides, and 2 -Deoxynucleotides. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2020; DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b11239 (paywall)

From the paywalled paper, via a friend:

Multiple distinct processes, in addition to primer extension and ligation, are likely to have contributed to the transition from heterogeneous primordial nucleic acids to the relatively homogeneous RNA genomes of the first cells. For example, photochemical reactions preferentially degrade the noncanonical nucleobases (and the corresponding nucleosides and nucleotides) and also preferentially degrade the alphaanomeric byproducts of nucleotide synthesis. Steric constraints and variations in chemical reactivity may have influenced the composition of the first oligonucleotides formed through nontemplated polymerization; for example, nucleotides with acyclic sugars rapidly cyclize to unreactive products following phosphate activation. The synthesis of standard 3 −5 phosphodiester bonds when copying templates with 2 −5 linkages or 3 −5 pyrophosphate linkages may also have contributed to the gradual elimination of the variability in nucleic acid structure that is the inevitable consequence of nonenzymatic polymerization. It has also been shown that while mixed RNA/DNA oligonucleotides can exhibit functional properties such as molecular recognition, the homogeneous systems exhibit better function and, thus, the emergence of homogeneous genetic polymers could be the result of selective pressures for superior function. Taken together these and other mechanisms may explain the transition from a heterogeneous mixture of prebiotically synthesized nucleotides and oligonucleotides to a relatively homogeneous set of RNAs. Considerable additional experimental work must be done to extend this model, as only a fraction of the likely prebiotic variability in nucleotide and nucleic acid structure has been explored to date.

Friends doubt that the random polymerizing of nucleotides is going to explain the origin of information needed for “RNA genomes” to come into existence.

See also: RNA more flexible than thought but also more error-prone

and

Welcome to RNA World: The five-star hotel of origin-of-life theories

35 Replies to “Researchers: Homogenous RNA could emerge from a primordial mess

  1. 1
    jawa says:

    How do they get the GCAT-based code in the DNA?
    How do they get the promoters and enhancers setup?
    How do they get the histone proteins in the chromatin ?
    How do they get the epigenetic markers setup?
    How do they get the DNA replication machinery?
    How do they get the transcription factors?
    How do they get the transcription machinery?
    How do they get the translation machinery?
    How do they get the organelles?
    How do they get the membranes?
    OK, let’s leave other questions for later. These are enough for now.

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    So if we make a big enough messy enough soup it’ll generate the RNA molecules we need is a little magic of selective pressure

    Well we have the recipe let’s do it!

    Oh wait even with the direct path that we have presented in front of us we still can’t do it

  3. 3
    pw says:

    Same ole, same ole… what else is new?

    Here’s a PDF of the cited paper. Here’s the conclusion:

    Taken together these and other mechanisms may explain the transition from a heterogeneous mixture of prebiotically synthesized nucleotides and oligonucleotides to a relatively homogeneous set of RNAs. Considerable additional experimental work must be done to extend this model, as only a fraction of the likely prebiotic variability in nucleotide and nucleic acid structure has been explored to date.

    Life’s Frankenstein Beginnings: Surprising Discoveries About First Building Blocks of Life on Earth
    New evidence shows the first building blocks of life on Earth may have been messier than previously thought
    ResearchGate

  4. 4
    EugeneS says:

    Yes, of course, everything happened by itself. Some sort of processes working by themselves on a primordeal soup. You know, sort of like ink organizes itself into letters on paper under the influence of a pen.

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    jawa @1

    you forgot to mention – How do they get DNA proofreading-repair feature ? Recently i came across an article, that even RNA has some sort of proofreading-repair mechanism.

  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    speaking about Nobel Prize laureate Jack Szostak – the most famous OOL researcher…

    from RetractionWatch.com

    “”Definitely embarrassing:” Nobel Laureate retracts non-reproducible paper in Nature journal”

    “A Nobel Laureate has retracted a 2016 paper in Nature Chemistry that explored the origins of life on earth, after discovering the main conclusions were not correct. ”

    J.Szostak: “In retrospect, we were totally blinded by our belief [in our findings]…we were not as careful or rigorous as we should have been (and as Tivoli was) in interpreting these experiments.”

    https://retractionwatch.com/2017/12/05/definitely-embarrassing-nobel-laureate-retracts-non-reproducible-paper-nature-journal/

  7. 7
    martin_r says:

    “Homogenous RNA Could Emerge From A Primordial Mess”

    so what ?

    Szostak & Co. are still MISSING THE POINT …

    prof. James Tour: “All right, now let’s assemble the Dream Team. We’ve got good professors here, so let’s assemble the Dream Team. Let’s further assume that the world’s top 100 synthetic chemists, top 100 biochemists and top 100 evolutionary biologists combined forces into a limitlessly funded Dream Team. The Dream Team has all the carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids stored in freezers in their laboratories… All of them are in 100% enantiomer purity. [Let’s] even give the team all the reagents they wish, the most advanced laboratories, and the analytical facilities, and complete scientific literature, and synthetic and natural non-living coupling agents. Mobilize the Dream Team to assemble the building blocks into a living system – nothing complex, just a single cell. The members scratch their heads and walk away, frustrated…

    … So let’s help the Dream Team out by providing the polymerized forms: polypeptides, all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides, DNA and RNA in any sequence they desire, cleanly assembled. The level of sophistication in even the simplest of possible living cells is so chemically complex that we are even more clueless now than with anything discussed regarding prebiotic chemistry or macroevolution. The Dream Team will not know where to start. Moving all this off Earth does not solve the problem, because our physical laws are universal.”

    “The Dream Team will not know where to start.”

    “The Dream Team will not know where to start.”

    “The Dream Team will not know where to start.”

    “The Dream Team will not know where to start.”

    “The Dream Team will not know where to start.”

    when will these guys get it and admit that the cell/life was created/designed/engineered ?

  8. 8
    Truthfreedom says:

    How do they get the GCAT-based code in the DNA?
    How do they get the promoters and enhancers setup?
    How do they get the histone proteins in the chromatin ?…

    “Magicdidit”!
    See also: our goddess “Mother Nature” didit!

    Some sort of processes working by themselves on a primordeal soup.

    Well, according to atheist/materialists:
    No-thing can “work” “on” “it-self”(!) and “POOF”, now 0 = the Universe!
    So no surprise here 🙂

  9. 9
    martin_r says:

    speaking about Jack Szostak – “The Leader of Origin of Life Studies in the Universe”

    in 2014, Suzan Mazur interviewed Jack Szostak…

    in that 2014 interview, Nobel Prize laureate Jack Szostak said:

    “Life in Lab” in 3-5 years, more likely within 3 years …

    Now it is 2020, and they have got NOTHING…ZERO….
    they even don’t know where to start in order to create life …

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1406/S00007/jack-szostak-life-in-lab-in-3-5-years.htm

  10. 10
    PavelU says:

    Dr Szostak is a serious candidate -along with Dr Cronin- to receive the Evo2.0 $10M prize for explaining OOL so cleverly and clearly.

  11. 11
    Truthfreedom says:

    @PavelU:
    And the poor guy who explained the OOL in 2015?
    What happened to him?
    Does he have a name?
    Oh wait.

  12. 12
    pw says:

    Oh, no!

    Now it turns out that they’ve got much more to explain. Here’s a good one from EN:

    https://evolutionnews.org/2020/01/surprises-in-cell-codes-reveal-information-goes-far-beyond-dna/

    The plot thickens…

    🙂

  13. 13
    pw says:

    Truthfreedom,

    Your alias links in a very interesting blog.

  14. 14
    pw says:

    Martin_r,

    Your name links in a very Inter blog.

    Is it yours?

  15. 15
    Belfast says:

    Dr. Szostak is not some figure of fun to shy at. So he was wrong, and is extremely likely to be wrong still. But not only did he redact, he did it with an admission of self-blindedness, and gave full credit to the woman who saw the flaw. He behaved with dignity.

  16. 16
    Belfast says:

    Dr. Szostak is not some figure of fun to shy at. So he was wrong, and is extremely likely to be wrong still. But not only did he redact, he did it with an admission of self-blindness and carelessness;, and gave full credit to the woman who saw the flaw. He behaved with dignity.

  17. 17
    Truthfreedom says:

    @16 Belfast

    He behaved with dignity.

    Well, according to atheist/materialists, he has no dignity and he does not exist.
    He is a “neuronal” illusion with no free will. “Physics” retracted the paper and after that, “informed” the so-called “Dr. Szostak”.
    So no, no dignity, according to a/mats, the “enlightened” ones, the “reasonable” Western elite, the dispellers of myth.

    I am not joking, this is standard a/mat “reasoning”, following their ideology to its logical conclusion leads to insanity.

  18. 18

    .

    according to atheist/materialists, he has no dignity and he does not exist

    I, for one, will be glad with the level of argument has runs its course.

  19. 19
    Belfast says:

    @17 T&F.
    Well, in case there is a hint lingering in what you have written, I am no a/mat. I am an Irish born, 82 year old criminal lawyer, and the disturbed chaotic fancies of a/mats never disturbs my rest or digestion. And Szostak in his retraction behaved very properly and should not be jeered at.

  20. 20
    Truthfreedom says:

    UB
    You reap what you sow.
    Materialism has ran its course, and a/mats evolutive dogma is cancerous for society.
    They destroy everything they touch, including them-“selves” (oh the irony).
    They are destroying the same science they adore and the scientists they revere.

    @Belfast: I was not implying you are an a/m. My apologies if you felt attacked.

    I was simply pointing out that their lunatic behavior is self-refuting, illogical and the source of way too much harm. They label people as “meat-robots” with no dignity.

    I have nothing against Dr. Szostak.

  21. 21
    martin_r says:

    Belfast @19

    you have mentioned Nobel Prize laureate Jack Szostak. Obviously, you have noticed my previous post on Szostak’s OOL-PAPER retraction.

    Listen, do you realize, that after 150 years of origin-of-life research, you atheists got NOTHING ?
    NO PROGRESS… NO PROGRESS AT ALL… AFTER 150 YEARS …NOTHING…. ZERO… the only thing you got, are somey bubbles made of fat, and some other molecular mess…

    Belfast, what do you think ? Why is that ?

  22. 22
    martin_r says:

    Pw @14

    yes, the blog at http://www.StuffHappens.info is mine. I am glad you like it. I have started the blog in 2019, i will be adding new posts on regular basis. Every atheist who believes in this random-mutations-nonsense should see the blog… Because 99.99% of lay atheists never heard of repeated evolution – i know that – because i debated lots of lay atheists…. they have no idea what they believe in ….

    What is more reasonable to believe? that the same complex feature (e.g. Placenta) evolved 100 times repeatedly and independently by random mutations, or that the Placenta is a common design feature/ part of the body necessary for a successful reproduction, designed by a designer … what is more reasonable to believe ?

    A Placenta is a very complex organ, so complex, that they still don’t know how it works…. if it would evolved once, by some blind unguided process, it would be a miracle… but 100 times ???

  23. 23
    pw says:

    Martin_r:

    “ What is more reasonable to believe? that the same complex feature (e.g. Placenta) evolved 100 times repeatedly and independently by random mutations, or that the Placenta is a common design feature/ part of the body necessary for a successful reproduction, designed by a designer … what is more reasonable to believe ?”

    The answer is obvious.

    I congratulate you for such an interesting blog theme. Well done!
    I’ll pass it around for others to see it too.
    It’s a tremendous contribution to the “Common Design” concept.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    J.Szostak: “In retrospect, we were totally blinded by our belief [in our findings]…we were not as careful or rigorous as we should have been (and as Tivoli was) in interpreting these experiments.”

    Szostak has a point here. He should adjust it slightly:

    “In retrospect, we are totally blind.”

    This is the second paper that Szostak had to retract. We’d think that he learned his lesson the first time. But now he’s “embarrassed”.

    We’re keeping in mind the condemnation of ID from the same people. We were told that ID has “no peer reviewed work”. But we can see that ‘peers’ simply rubber-stamp work that they think is good. The do not ask how many times a guy like Szostak replicated his findings, apparently.

  25. 25
    Belfast says:

    @Martin@21
    I think Richard Lewontin explained it for me,
    ‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism….
    …We materialists cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door’

    They not only deny a Divine foot, they deny even a door.
    I assume your ‘150 years’ is a reference to the totally failed but prolonged efforts of Haeckel to establish chemical evolution. Yes, atheists in biological sciences have been trying that long. With nothing to show but muck. I am sorry for Szostak, but it shows what blindness can do.

  26. 26
    Belfast says:

    @Martin@21
    I think Richard Lewontin explained it for me,
    ‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism….
    …We materialists cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door’

    They not only deny a Divine foot, they deny even a door.
    I assume your ‘150 years’ is a reference to the totally failed but prolonged efforts of Haeckel to establish chemical evolution. Yes, atheists in biological sciences have been trying that long. With nothing to show but muck. I am sorry for Szostak, but it shows what blindness can do by way of perverting scientific research.

  27. 27
    jawa says:

    Martin_r @5:

    Yes, that’s a good catch! Thanks.
    It should be definitely added in the increasing list.

  28. 28
    martin_r says:

    Belfast @25

    yes, 150 years of OOL-research…

    i would include so called SPONTANEOUS GENERATION-‘research’ as well.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_generation

    and could you answer my question ? I will repeat it:

    Why after 150 years of OOL-research they have got NOTHING ? ZERO PROGRESS …
    let me repeat that – there is a ZERO PROGRESS and even J. Szostak knows that…

    Let me know your personal view on this… your laymen view…
    Why is that ? 150 years of various attempts and efforts, it is quite a long time….

    150 years…

    So why is that ? Any idea ?

    p.s.

    and one more very related question:

    why is that, that all these miracles happened long long time ago and only once and then never again …. e.g. the origin of life, the photosynthesis, and many other miracles…

  29. 29
    Belfast says:

    The reason that they have not got anything is that there is nothing to get.
    It’s like throwing a pair of dice and believing if you do it trillions of times eventually number 13 will appear.
    It does not matter how long they look, there is an unbridgeable chasm between lifeless chemicals and life.
    Because they think they see links between animals they extrapolate backwards, totally unjustifiably, to assume that nonliving chemicals once had the power during a very narrow window to generate life.
    They invent a protocell in their mind; nearly alive, but not alive, almost alive but not alive, just about alive but not alive, practically alive but not alive; the most bizarre idea in the world’s history.
    Every few years they meet to tell each other of exciting new insights, then agree to come back when there are more insights to discus; there is not even a proof of principle. Look at the barren reports from Delpht in 2018.

  30. 30
    Truthfreedom says:

    Abiogenesis is Impossible

    Abiogenesis is basically the belief that life arose from non-life through some unknown, theoritcal, hypothetical, unobservable, untestable and unfalsifiable chemical process. I call it a belief because it certainly isn’t science or scientific in any way at all.

    World renown scientist, synthetic organic chemist, James Tour refutes every idea that the materialists and evolutionists have come up with that attempts to turn rocks into life by magic.

    https://borne.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/abiogenesis-is-impossible/

  31. 31
    EugeneS says:

    As Berlinski aptly pointed out, every new biochemical discovery increases the distance between where scientists are and where supporters of abiogenesis want to be. It is usual to see in various papers expressions like ‘we are surprised’, ‘we expected X but found Y’, etc. It is a hopeless enterprise.

  32. 32
    martin_r says:

    EugeneS @31

    let me repeat this one:

    Berlinski: “… every new biochemical discovery increases the distance between where scientists are and where supporters of abiogenesis want to be”

    exactly…. the more they know, the more is clear that the cell is an engineering-masterpiece,
    beyond our comprehension, an engineering SCI-FI…

    However, i doubt that people like PavelU will understand, what Berlinski just said…

  33. 33
    EugeneS says:

    Martin_r @32

    ‘However, i doubt that people like PavelU will understand, what Berlinski just said…’

    You never know ) It is easier to deal with evolution demagoguery when you are a theist. We should make allowances. However, it is not impossible for a scientist to see that evolution is void of any substance. It is a just a matter of intellectual punctuality and courage, I guess, especially if you are a paid scientist.

  34. 34
    martin_r says:

    Belfast @29

    i like your style…

    “The reason that they have not got anything is that there is nothing to get”

    exactly…

    and i am sure, that these guys know it already… the whole issue is politically very sensitive, could turn the world up side down… that is why we see so clever people saying such absurd/stupid things… moreover, they need to feed their families… every scientific paper ends with a “Conflict of interest’ statement … and, it is always the same – NO CONFLICTS :)))))) this is so funny….

    i think, they knew what is going on from the beginning, from the moment DNA was discovered 50 years ago … and from that moment, it got only worse for them …

    It is a such an irony…. atheist-scientists through their discoveries are supporting creationism /ID arguments every single day 🙂

    Sure, they can deny it, they can mislead lay people, but all educated folk interested in biology can see what is going on ….

    To be an atheist-scientist, e.g. molecular biologist, this must be so frustrating… you go to work, to find another evidence for created /designed/ engineered life :))))

    And i am sure, that the most striking discoveries supporting Creation/ID arguments are to come …

  35. 35

    .
    Abiogenesis is at a veritable standstill because of the limitations placed on it by the entirely illegitimate and pervasive reductionist’s mandate. And as with virtually all similar human misfortunes, the clues to actual progress were available all along, but ignored (i.e. show me where any OoL reductionist truly engages the “threshold of complexity” per Von Neumann or Pattee or even Peirce, or others). The Origin of Life is not about the presence of particular matter, it is about a very particular arrangement of matter. The science is already in the literature, staring the researchers (and design antagonists) right in the face, and they cannot even speak the words. Cannot even speak the words.

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