|junk & non coding RNA
In genetics, non coding DNA describes DNA which does not contain instructions for making proteins or other cell products. Some noncoding DNA is involved in regulating the activity of coding regions. However much of this DNA has no known function it is sometimes referred to as "junk DNA".
Non coding RNA
A very astonishing phenomena is a special type of RNA. Normally RNA is a short transcript of a DNA sequence to transport genetic information. Non coding RNA doesn't, but its molecular structure has a functional part.
From a symbol-theoretical point of view non coding RNA has an interesting all-in-one structure: it is at the same time code, structure and function as well.
RprA RNA - a 106 nucleotide regulatory non-coding RNA: code implies structure, structure implies function
RNA and the origin of life
The RNA World theory of evolution says that life originated from RNA or a very similar polymer. According to that approach RNA came before proteins and DNA, because RNA consists of molecules that can be a gene and an enzyme as well.
Most of the RNA world szenarios deal with a hot primordial soup as a birth place for organic life. But there are approaches dealing with cold ice as origin of a stable molecular life. Physicist Hauke Trinks made experiments at Spitzbergen how RNA molecules could have developed in the capillaries of sea ice:
- Ice and the origin of life - scientific paper, 92 pp., pdf
- Leben aus dem Eis: ARD (German)
- non-conding RNA and its families on wikipedia.org
- RNA structure database: RNAbase.org
- noncoding RNA database
- Searching for Non-coding RNA , bioinformatic paper, 2005
- bioninformatic project on non-coding RNA:
- about junk-DNA on wikipedia.org.
- read more about junk DNA in a project dossier (2005) of collected papers: dossier, 3,2 Mb, pdf