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Borate and the origin of RNA; a model for the precursors to life

Yoshihiro Furukawa and Takeshi Kakegawa
Borate and the origin of RNA; a model for the precursors to life (in Boron; light and lively, Edward S. Grew (editor))
Elements (August 2017) 13 (4): 261-265


According to the RNA World hypothesis, ribonucleic acid (RNA) played a critical role in the origin of life. However, ribose, an essential component of RNA, is easily degraded: finding a way to stabilize it is critical to the viability of the hypothesis. Borate has been experimentally shown to have a strong affinity for ribose, and, thus, could have protected ribose from degradation in the formose reaction, a potential process for prebiotic ribose formation. Accumulation of borate on Hadean Earth (prior to approximately 4,000 Ma) might have been a key step in the chemical evolution of the biotic sugar. Proto-arcs are suggested as a geological setting sufficiently rich in borate to stabilize ribose during the Hadean.

ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 13
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Borate and the origin of RNA; a model for the precursors to life
Title: Boron; light and lively
Author(s): Furukawa, YoshihiroKakegawa, Takeshi
Author(s): Grew, Edward S.editor
Affiliation: Tohoku University, Department of Earth Science, Sendai, Japan
Affiliation: University of Maine, School of Earth and Climate Sciences, Orono, ME, United States
Pages: 261-265
Published: 201708
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 30
Accession Number: 2017-076733
Categories: General geochemistryGeneral paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
N60°00'00" - N64°00'00", W60°00'00" - W50°00'00"
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201740
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