Surviving mass extinctions through biomineralized DNA
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Even in the worst of conditions, such as those which occurred during mass extinction events, life on Earth never totally stopped. Aggressive chemical and physical attacks able to sterilize or poison living organisms occurred repeatedly. Surprisingly, DNA was not degraded, denatured or modified to the point of losing the capability of transferring the genetic information to the next generations. After the events of mass extinction life was able to survive and thrive. DNA was passed on despite being an extremely fragile biomolecule. The potential implications of hydroxyapatite protection of DNA are discussed in this Concept article including how DNA acts as a template for hydroxyapatite (HAp) formation, how cell death can trigger biomineralization, and how DNA can be successfully released from HAp when the conditions are favorable for life.
CitationTuron, P., Puiggali, J., Bertran, O., Aleman, C. Surviving mass extinctions through biomineralized DNA. "Chemistry: a european journal", 21 Desembre 2015, vol. 21, núm. 52, p. 18892-18898.
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