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Author Topic:   first genetic material
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Message 6 of 84 (155468)
11-03-2004 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by judhajeetray
11-02-2004 3:46 AM

[qutoe] wonder from where did the genetic material come. It is my hypothesis that the donater of this genetic material may be the virus. Actually it sems to be absurd that although we know that virus can become living only when inside a living cell which has a genetic material. But i think that it may be possible that due to presence of certain matrix proteins in the cell wall of certain prokaryotes ,which acts as phage receptor might have allowed the phage to enter into the cell which is already devoid of any genetic material.[/quote]
It does sound absurd, but it is still a very interesting idea.
This hypothesis, as I understand it, requires three things:
1. A self replicating virus.
2. Protocells made up of a lipid membrane containg proteins or peptides.
3. Viral genetic material taking over replication in the protocell.
The first hurdle, a self replicating virus, is perhaps the hardest step. At this time, the most probable scenario would be catalytic RNA, RNA that is able to carry out enzymatic processes similar to proteins. This has been observed, but usually this involves the manipulation of other RNA or nucleotide molecules. I have yet to hear of an RNA organising molecules that could create any type of viral capsid, but the possibility is there. Also, the virus would need to replicate it's RNA. It seems to me that replicating RNA in a protocell would be a more direct approach and more probable.
The second hurdle is pretty easy. Protocells can be created on your stovetop, for example. The hard part is the proteins and peptides contained in the protocells. These become important in the next step.
The third hurdle. This one ties with the first hurdle for level of difficulty. The protocell must have the right chemical makeup so that it reacts with the incoming viral genetic material and results in true cellular clonal reproduction. So we have a set of RNA's that are adapted to replicating itself and probably constructing capsid walls with amino acids. Now that RNA has to switch over to creating enzymatic proteins instead of capsid proteins. I am not sure this could occur very easily. However, nature has ways of doing the seemingly impossible, so I can't discount it.
Overall, I would say your hypothesis is less probable than other theories out there. Of course, this is a subjective opinion and shouldn't be taken as gospel truth (pardon the pun). If I understand your hypothesis completely there are several hurdles that would be easier to accomplish without going through a viral vector.

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 Message 1 by judhajeetray, posted 11-02-2004 3:46 AM judhajeetray has not replied

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