Sickly Flowers, Error Thresholds, And The Dawn of Life

This chrysanthemum leaf is infected with naked bits of genetic material known as viroids. Over at Origins, Science‘s blog, I take a look at new research that suggests these extraordinary little pests may have a lot in common with the earliest life on Earth. Check it out.

Image: APSNet

0 thoughts on “Sickly Flowers, Error Thresholds, And The Dawn of Life

  1. “A viroid can contain as few as 250 nucleotides.” Looks like a job for complimentary synthetic peptide nucleic acids (PNAs). 16-20 residues ought to do it. HIV is also an RNA virus. PNAs are inert to nucleases and permeate cell membranes (no molecular charge). Turn off the virus by binding to a non-host gene or two.

    Oops! Cures would be financial disasters. Add fugitive ester linkages to only obtain a chronic treatment. Health insurance is good for it at any price. Help the undeserving!

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