Cronin group researchers discover spontaneously assembled organic-inorganic “DNA”
Genetic material in the form of DNA and RNA is essential for life and evolution, but how did it first arise? This is a big mystery and poses a classic ‘chicken and egg’ conundrum: what type of molecule could have determined the sequence of the very molecule in which sequence is encoded? Researchers in the Cronin Group have reported an organic-inorganic compound whose structure closely resembles the naturally occurring Z-form of DNA which forms simply by mixing molybdate with GMP at low pH. It is hoped that the structure could open new avenues in the exploration of the transition between biologically inert matter and living systems.
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