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Scientists Solved the Nagging Mystery of How Genes Emerge From Nothing

20 Dec 2023 7:49 AM | Anonymous
  • One of the mysteries about the origin of life is how DNA randomly formed palindrome pairs in order to function.
  • A new study from the University of Helsinki analyzes regulatory genes known as microRNA to discover how these necessary palindromes formed. 
  • Using computer modeling, the study’s results show that whole palindromes can arise from a singular mutation event.

To understand the origins of life means to understand the origins of DNA—the information-containing molecule that makes all life possible. The beginning of life on Earth remains a mystery, and for some time, the beginnings of DNA have similarly appeared to arise from nothing. A new study from the University of Helsinki now attempts to fill this notoriously tricky hole in our understanding. 

To answer this very big question, University of Helsinki researcher Ari Löytynoja and his team focused on the very small—regulatory genes that encode microRNA molecules, which are only 22 base pairs in length. The human genome is a complicated highway of 20,000 genes capable of constructing life-sustaining proteins, and these protein factories are managed by regulatory genes. The sequences of these regulatory genes (like other RNA and DNA sequences) are palindromic, meaning that genetic code reads the same forwards and backwards.

You can read more in an article by Darren Orf published in the PopularMechanics web site at:

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