Recently in the Biochemistry Category

A novel investigation of how enzymatic reactions can direct the motion and organization of microcapsules may point toward a new theory of how protocells - the earliest biological cells - could have organized into colonies and thus, could have ultimately formed larger, differentiated structures.

Inspired by previous work on chemistry's 'water problem' and 'asphalt problem,' a team of researchers has provided new insight into the conditions in which nucleosides combine with phosphate to form nucleoside phosphates, a key set of molecules found in RNA.

Oldest Known Redox Gradient Discovered

By analyzing iron isotopes against the uranium content in the jasper rock from the ancient ocean of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa, scientists have found a defined vertical redox gradient, called a redoxcline, showing a change in the level of oxygenation from the deeper part of the ocean leading to the shallower portion.

Studying Metabolism in Mixed Cultures

Studying Carbon-13 (13C) metabolism in a microbial community can be a time-consuming and tricky prospect. This is because scientists often have to separate a single species out of the mix for study.

The outer solar system may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons, Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto, may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts.

In 2009, scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution embarked on a NASA-funded mission to the Mid-Cayman Rise in the Caribbean, in search of a type of deep-sea hot-spring or hydrothermal vent that they believed held clues to the search for life on other planets.

The self-organization properties of DNA-like molecular fragments four billion years ago may have guided their own growth into repeating chemical chains long enough to act as a basis for primitive life, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Milan.

Making Oxygen Before Life

About one-fifth of the Earth's atmosphere is oxygen, pumped out by green plants as a result of photosynthesis and used by most living things on the planet to keep our metabolisms running.

Interstellar molecules with a peptide link -NH-C(=O)-, like formamide (NH2 CHO), acetamide (NH2 COCH3) and isocyanic acid (HNCO) are particularly interesting for their potential role in pre-biotic chemistry.

Parts of the primordial soup in which life arose have been maintained in our cells today according to scientists at the University of East Anglia.