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#4049
James MacAllister
Participant

It took me a minute on Google to find this http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html

“For a long time the synthesis of RNA monomers under prebiotic conditions appeared to be a fundamental problem since the condensation of sugar (ribose) and nucleobase (purines and pyrimidines) does not work (Orgel, 2004). The prebiotic synthesis of purine ribonucleotides is still unclear, yet recently a breakthrough has been made with regard to the synthesis of pyrimidine ribonucleotide monomers (which incorporate cytosine and uracil). It now appears in principle to be solved, in a completely unexpected manner. The study by the group of John Sutherland (Powner et al. 2009) shows how nature could have spontaneously assembled pyrimidine ribonucleotide monomers from prebiotically plausible molecules through intermediates that contribute atoms to both the sugar and base portions of the ribonucleotides, thus avoiding a condensation step of sugar and base altogether (Fig.1). See also Nature News for the impact of these findings. While a good pathway for synthesis of purine ribonucleotides (incorporating adenine and guanine) still remains to be found, Jack Szostak argues in a comment accompanying the article (Szostak 2009) that “it is precisely because this work opens up so many new directions for research that it will stand for years as one of the great advances in prebiotic chemistry”.

In science, it is very important to make sure that your “facts” are up to date because they change. Apparently early abiotic synthesis of RNA may not have been a problem or is now much less of a stumbling block.