Using computer programs, international scientists began to look for dna and RNA analogues, and as a result, they found at least 1.16 million molecules that could store genetic information, helping to explain the evolution of life and the search for life forms beyond Earth. The study was published recently in the journal Chemical Information and Modeling.
So far, we humans and every species on Earth have been confined to DNA and RNA as the basis of life. DNA and RNA are biological macromolecules that store genetic information, making all known life possible, but now millions of other chemicals have been found to do the same.
A new study by researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the German Aerospace Center and researchers at Emory University suggests that more than a million similarchemicals encode biological information like DNA.
In DNA, nucleotides are paired in different ways, so scientists believe new molecules can be generated in the same way. The researchers designed a computer program to produce the chemical formula of nucleic acid-like molecules. Eventually, the program produced more than 1.16 million molecules that met these basic conditions.
The researchers say these structured molecules could advance future medicine and set new goals for the pharmaceutical industry. Because nucleotide-like drugs have been found to destroy dangerous viruses and malignant cancer cells in the human body, the molecular bank of similar structures can be constructed so that drug developers can use DNA-like molecules as an important weapon against disease.
At the same time, the study will also explain how life evolved on Earth in the first place, and even help humans find life forms beyond Earth. Because these molecules may form and evolve in different environments and may appear on other planets or moons in the solar system, our goal will no longer be limited to attempts to discover DNA or RNA fragments.