In all, Rodriguez found that separately removing seven different “gears” from a distant part of the molecule each caused the amino acid to bind more tightly to the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. Perona explained that this provides the first systematic analysis demonstrating long-range communication in an enzyme that depends on RNA for its function.”So what we think is going on is that these enzyme-RNA interactions far from the amino acid binding site evolved together with the needs of the cell to respond to subtle cues from its environment — especially in terms of how much amino acid is available,” said Perona. “It makes sense in terms of evolution.
– Glimpse of How the ‘Code’ of Life May Have Emerged, ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2011)
Well, anything can make sense in terms of evolution, because it is a directionless story, festooned with “may haves”.
Friend Jonathan kindly writes,
I loved what Nick Lane had to say in Life Ascending — The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution:Short of positing celestial design, the only way to explain optimization is via the workings of selection. If so, the code of life must have evolved.
Look, I just report the news here on the May Have desk. With luck, the way this file is going, I will eventually be promoted to Could Have Central.
Excuse me, must mop up after cup runneth over.