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To: sauron
Has anyone ever wondered why? What's the current view of this in biochemistry?

Do they just dismiss it as "not important" (because they're secretly embarrassed by an inability to explain the process)?

Sorry to butt in, but these are interesting questions on their own.

There is a large and colorful literature on this topic that now includes PANH's (nitrogen-containing aromatic hydrocarbons) that seem to be present in nearly all of space.

Unfortunately there are still lots of hypothesis and limited resources to to test them out. There isn't a lot of use for the solutions that this research would generate. Would you give up cancer or heart disease research to find out the likely candidates for the original replicating molecules on earth?

The tools to do this kind of research are finally available, although they are still expensive and cumbersome. They will become inexpensive quickly. There are already companies that are creating DNA libraries and building the capability to build organisms one base pair at a time.

For example, 454 Life Sciences Corporation can assemble the complete 580,000-base genome of Mycoplasma genitalium in 4 hours on a machine that can be purchased for half a million dollars. Dharmacon has completed the world's first genome-wide, siRNA library that targets over 21,000 human genes.

Scientists aren't embarrassed. They're mostly excited.

305 posted on 12/05/2005 2:35:17 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
There are already companies that are creating DNA libraries and building the capability to build organisms one base pair at a time.

That would be no more significant than when I was a kid and cut and pasted hexadecimal code to crack a game...although I did it, did I know what the hex code represented?

Likewise: Do the scientists truly understand the DNA they're cutting and pasting?

Or are they merely playing with materials that, yes, they can manipulate, but cannot understand?

Are they just kids eagerly taking credit for something they really don't understand?

A poor analogy might be this: I understand how to create fire. I know what it will do once I create it. I know its heat, its light, and how to propagate it--or, more likely, avoid propagation!

...but do I understand what the FLAME ITSELF is made out of?

417 posted on 12/05/2005 5:34:31 PM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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