Chemical researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMO) München, led by Dr. Oliver Trapp of the Department Chemie at the university, conducted chemical tests that show how a simple chain of chemical evolution could have served as pathway that gave rise to the existence of DNA on Earth, earlier than what was previously believed.
Their findings contradict a generally accepted model in which the RNA was the first to have been synthesized from precursor organic compounds that existed during the prebiotic stage. Based on their findings, the LMU researchers now contend that DNA molecules may have existed parallel to RNA and therefore came to be by 400 million years earlier than first established.
Understanding the Significance of DNA and RNA in the Chemical Evolution of Organic Compounds During the Prebiotic Stage
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is a self-replicating material possessed by nearly all living organisms. DNA strands constitute chromosomes that carry genetic information. However, in some viruses, RNA instead of DNA carries genetic information.
RNA on the other hand, stands for ribonucleic acid. It is a nucleic acid found in all living cells, whose primary role is to carry out instructions coming from DNA strands for purposes of controlling the synthesis of proteins.
Mankind through different scientific studies has since tried to determine how life first came to be on Earth. While others simply accepted God, being the supreme being over all creations as solely responsible for the universe and everything found in it, scientists take interest in establishing the mechanisms and processes of how God began life naturally; not as an instant occurrence but through long periods of evolution.
Actually the researchers’ explanation of their discovery is a complex narration of chemical reactions of organic compounds believed to have been present in a prebiotic environment. Understand that by prebiotic, the condition referred to is life before it came to be on Earth. Professor Trapp conducted experiments of prebiotic organic compounds using only water with mild acidity, and temperatures ranging between 40 to 70 degrees Centigrade.
As a result, and through various tests, researchers at LMU have identified a second set of possible precursors or substance from which DNA was formed by chemical reaction in prebiotic conditions The information gathered suggests that the earliest molecules of DNA may have appeared some 4 billion years ago, parallel with the RNA.