Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weekly RNA News - Week XXXIII - August 2011

It's amazing what a very simple molecule can do. In this case I am talking about 1-Aminoanthracene. I think any chemist, and even non-chemists will be able to draw this simple molecule, yet, very few would be able to tell you that you can make the spinal cord of a tadpole light-up when it has ingested the molecule. Such is the image presented to us in the latest issue of Chemical and Engineering News. Yes, this is where one so easily falls in love with science. Simplicity at its best. This certainly is one beautiful way to obtain powerful insights into nature.

Here's a copy of the image which has been made by Daniel Emerson at Ivan J. Dmochowski's lab at U.Penn in Philly:

The original article was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

Carbonaceous Meteorites Contain a Wide Range of Extraterrestrial Nucleobases
Michael P. Callahana and Karen E. Smith and H. James Cleaves II and Josef Ruzicka and Jennifer C. Stern and Daniel P. Glavin and Christopher H. House and Jason P. Dworkin
PNAS, XX, XXX-XXX (2011)

Back to a claim of old, that of finding nucleobases in meteorites. The difference in this study seems to be that of finding some derivatives of purine which are not present in earth nor in the surroundings of the surveyed meteorites. This reminds me of reading the older papers of Dworkin on the possible synthetic routes of this babies in a pre-RNA world.