DNA and RNA hold vital genetic information and play an essential role in the existence of life as we know it.
A new study argues that more than 1 million molecules could store genetic information in a fashion similar to DNA. The data presented by the researchers could play an important role in a variety of projects, among which we can count the creation of enhanced pharmaceutical drugs, learn more about the evolution of creatures, or even track down new life forms beyond the limits of our planet.
The potential of an alternative genetic system is quite important since it offers nucleotides information which wouldn’t have been available otherwise.
It is well-known that NA and RNA are to types of nucleic acids that are rich in nucleotides. The nucleotides connect information is a specific order and facilitate the transfer of data in accordance to their sequence. This can be compared with the order of the letters in a sentence.
Previous research showed that some natural and synthetic molecules with replicate the base structure of DNA, but no one tried to verify how many molecules like this could exist. One of the researchers who contributed to the study stated that there are two types of nucleic acids in biology. The study aimed to observe how many more can be found.
To reach the aim, the authors designed a computer program that can generate chemical formulas by starting from base versions of substances similar to nucleic acid. The simulation took into account the fact that that nucleotides will form distinct pairs that tend to gather in a line.
Many of the researchers were surprised by the fact that over 1,160,000 molecules were created by the program. The high number of similar molecules could explain some of the mechanics behind the evolutionary process.
Further research is already underway, and the study was published in a scientific journal.