Jul 19, 2023

Tracing the Origin of Life — Researchers Uncover How Primordial Proteins Formed on Prebiotic Earth

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics

Unraveling the mystery of how catalytic organic polymers first appeared on prebiotic Earth will unlock key understandings in the origin of life.

Researchers from Tohoku University recently discovered a probable setting where the creation of catalytic organic polymers could occur. To make this discovery, they evaporated solutions of amino acids.

<div class=””> <div class=””><br />Amino acids are a set of organic compounds used to build proteins. There are about 500 naturally occurring known amino acids, though only 20 appear in the genetic code. Proteins consist of one or more chains of amino acids called polypeptides. The sequence of the amino acid chain causes the polypeptide to fold into a shape that is biologically active. The amino acid sequences of proteins are encoded in the genes. Nine proteinogenic amino acids are called “essential” for humans because they cannot be produced from other compounds by the human body and so must be taken in as food.<br /></div> </div>

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