Friday, November 10, 2006



The Carnegie Institution reports that "over the last half century, researchers have found that mineral surfaces may have played critical roles organizing, or activating, molecules that would become essential ingredients to all life--such as amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and nucleic acids (the essence of DNA). "

But which of the countless possible combinations of biomolecules and mineral surfaces were key to this evolution? This vexing question has stumped scientists for years because of the sheer volume of possibilities. Now an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Robert Hazen, of the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory and former president of the Mineralogical Society of America, has developed new protocols and procedures for adapting DNA microarray technology to rapidly identify promising molecule/mineral pairs.

Read more here.


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