Scientific experiment on premise that life began when RNA first replicated itself. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have reportedly reproduced part of this process


Important Takeaways:

  • PLAYING GOD? Scientists Move Closer Towards Creating Artificial ‘Life’ in Lab
  • In an experiment based on the premise that RNA was the initial ingredient in the original “primordial soup” predating the existence of DNA or proteins, the research team created an RNA molecule capable of accurately copying other RNA types, the result of which was an active enzyme.
  • While the artificial RNA molecule is not yet self-replicating, Salk president Gerald Joyce, who co-authored a paper on this research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, called the research a significant advancement toward creating lab-based life. If self-replicating RNA can be made, Joyce said, “then it would be alive,” adding: “This is the road to how life can arise in a laboratory.”
  • The discovery is one of a growing list of scientific advancements that just a few years ago would have been the preserve of science fiction. Earlier this month, it was reported that scientists are closer to being able to clone the wooly mammoth. Last week, a leading expert in the field predicted that the so-called ‘singularity’ could be achieved by 2027.

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