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OOL researchers: A little goo will do to get RNA and DNA to progress toward self-replication.

artist’s impression of viscosity advancing gene copying/Georgia Tech, Christine He

From ScienceDaily:

The original recipe for gene soup may have been simple — rain, a jumble of common molecules, warm sunshine, and nighttime cooling. Then add a pinch of thickener.

The last ingredient may have helped gene-like strands to copy themselves in puddles for the first time ever, billions of years ago when Earth was devoid of life, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found. Their novel discoveries add to a growing body of evidence that suggests first life may have evolved with relative ease, here and possibly elsewhere in the universe.

Then they added an off-the-shelf thickener.

Easy is crucial, said Martha Grover, a professor who oversaw the research at Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Easy reactions are likely to be more productive and more prevalent.

“A simple and robust process like this one could have operated in a variety of environments and concentrations making it more realistic in moving evolution forward,” she said.

“Considering a pre-biotic soup, it’s probably messy; it’s got a lot of impurities,” Christine He said. “When we first started out with more impure nucleotides, it still worked. Maybe the same reaction really could have happened in a messy puddle billions of years ago.” [colour emphasis added] Paper. (paywall) – Christine He, Isaac Gállego, Brandon Laughlin, Martha A. Grover and Nicholas V. Hud. A viscous solvent enables information transfer from gene-length nucleic acids in a model prebiotic replication cycle. Nature Chemistry, 2016 DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2628 More.

That is not a discovery; it is a speculation. Note the conditional “may have” and “could have.”

Two problems dog this kind of research. A demand for naturalism-based only approaches means that a not-completely-wrong speculation counts as a finding.

Not insurmountable as such, except for this: Current science does not encourage replication research. Thus it is hard to clear the zone of a clutter of unreplicated speculation.

These primal soup wars have been going on for some time. Recent entries include

Protein-like structures found in the primordial soup?


Hot news: Hydrothermal vents top primordial soup

See also: What we know and don’t know about the origin of life

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"Their novel discoveries add to a growing body of evidence" No, their "discoveries" add to a growing pile of you know what. Sadly, that qualifies as evidence these days, if you are a proponent of mindless, aimless, materialistic evolution. OldArmy94
At the very least, materialists need to account for hundreds of molecular machines, a genetic code, and a membrane. Imagine an athlete who needs to jump a series of 500 hurdles a mile high, in order. Unfortunately he has a problem: he's dead. A few other issues: He doesn't want to jump over them, and he couldn't if he wanted to. Nobody is there to help him or cheer him on. The only way for him to get over any hurdle is for some impersonal, chance force to supply energy. Perhaps an earthquake can do it. Maybe a volcano can blast him over the first hurdle. Or, let's say a meteor hits the ground nearby, launching his limp, lifeless carcass over one of the hurdles. No good. This is not looking hopeful at all.
Priceless! LOL! Vy
A little goo that could! We have a book name... :) Eugen
Too funny. These atheistic pseudo-scientists look more foolish (and desperate) by the day. Here's another link that is sure to make you smile (in a sad sort of way) at atheistic desperation. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/10/chemical_evolut103203.html Truth Will Set You Free
Pixie dust, they forgot the pixie dust! Another take on this:
The research didn’t even work. He had to use an enzyme from living cells. Using an existing enzyme begs the question of how such a complex molecular machine could have arisen from a messy molecular soup by chance. He is also aware that competing cross-reactions would have inhibited any progress toward a self-replicating, living cell. But now, the team is calling for even more money:
The enzymes would not have been present on a prebiotic Earth, and although there are chemical procedure for ligating RNA, “no one has developed a chemistry so robust yet that it could replace the enzyme,” Grover said.
Translation: This experiment was an exercise in further falsifying the continuously falsified myth of spontaneous generation.
Finding one that could have worked on a prebiotic Earth would be a worthy aim for further research.
Some months ago, the RNA World hypothesis story had this OOL business solved but now it's being called fantastical chemistry. What happened? Vy

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