Diamond As Gene Precursor

As the function of cells need both the blue print, i.e. DNA, and the manufacturing facility, i.e. proteins, the first lives must acquire both traits simultaneously. Although scientists have been debating whether chicken or egg came first, the universal presence of nanodiamond could provide building blocks of both proteins and DNA. The shower of such building blocks and nanodiamond in the primordial broth of Earth might have allowed the assembly of ample nanometers RNA molecules by incorporating phosphates from volcanic fluids. RNA was likely the precursor of the most primitive forms of life. In fact, RNA molecules are the enabler of living cells. For example, they play a vital role to coordinate the functions of brain neurons.

Figure 2.9. The effective protein manufacture by biological ribosome (top) and the chancy protein formation on diamond surface (bottom).

RNA can splice easily to form the analogue version of the digital DNA. Due to the flexibility of RNA, the engagements of biological functions can be fussy and forgiving. Although such engagements may be imprecise, their signals can be recognized. Evolution from a polymer to an organism required fast turnarounds of trials and errors. The fuzzy evolution by analogue RNA were much faster compared to the slow speciation with digital DNA. This difference is contrasted between rapid mutations of viruses compared to that of relative stable cells (Fig. 2.10).

According to the above hypothesis, nanodiamond might mold RNA molecules in the primordial broth by incorporating phosphate to form a backbone. Nanodiamond could further provide RNA with proteinoids to become the most primitive viruses. The retroviruses latter acquired more sugar-phosphate in "the little

warm ponds" to make the simplest DNA with double helices. From there, bacteria began to flourish. Latter, photosynthesis was invented by blue green algae. The release of oxygen by photosynthesis promoted the formation of eukaryotes with cored DNA (Fig. 2.11). After then, life could have radiated as we know today.

The nanodiamond origin of life may explain the sudden radiation of life on Earth as soon as it was cooled to form the first crust. According to this model, the omnipresence of nanodiamond in interstellar dusts could facilitate the formation of amino acids and component bases in space. These building blocks were assembled in primordial broth of the Earth to form viruses that latter evolve to form prokaryote bacteria. The symbiosis of lives in ocean allowed the integration of bacteria colony to become first eukary-ote cells.

Figure 2.11. The structure of DNA and the role of hydrogen bonds. The stability of DNA is provided by the snug fitting of coiled double helices. Note that the separation of nucleotides is exactly the distance between graphene planes that could be formed by stretching (111) faces of nanodiamond.

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