Wednesday, April 8, 2009

DNA - A Universal Pattern? Could Be

"Humans and Aliens Might Share DNA Pattern"
Wired Science (April 7, 2009)

"The building blocks of life may be more than merely common in the cosmos. Humans and aliens could share a common genetic foundation.

"That's the tantalizing implication of a pattern found in the formation of amino acids in meteorites, deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and simulations of primordial Earth. The pattern appears to follow basic thermodynamic laws, applicable throughout the known universe.

" 'This may implicate a universal structure of the first genetic codes anywhere,' said astrophysicist Ralph Pudritz of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

"There are exactly 20 standard amino acids — complex molecules that combine to form proteins, which in turn compose the nucleic acids from which the simplest self-replicating structures are built...."

I think a key word here is "tantalizing" - but these scientists may be on to something. It's possible that DNA isn't something that 'just happened,' but is a sort of information storage system that's built into the universe.

Of course, some people prefer to think that the universe 'just happened' - but that's getting off on a whole different topic.

This is an exciting bit of informed speculation.
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