Molecular Evolution Discussion
The theory of molecular evolution states Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) serves as the basis of life to arise due to the fact it is the most basic block for building life. First, a nucleotide was formed in the atmosphere which later fell into the oceans, replicated, underwent natural selection then finally, became a stable molecule. Additionally, a membrane evolved then enveloped into RNA which led to bacterium evolution. Self-replicating RNA coded for proteins and it evolved eventually into Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) because of the superior natural stability of DNA. The evolution of other proteins and DNA later led to the formation of higher organisms. Natural selection and mutations are identified as responsible for the gradual evolution of different forms of life (Strickberger 140). In their research, scientists demonstrate the ability of RNA to catalyze most of the chemical reactions which can be compared to enzymes. What is notable is that the chemical reactions that are seen as enzymes are proteins. This is the Molecular Evolution Discussion.
The theory of microbial evolution suggests life arose from unicellular simple organisms. It provides ground for organisms’ evolution over a short duration through studying the rate of mutation in microorganisms within natural settings. This is due to the fact they have a mutation rate that is rapidly leading to the formation of different kinds of species in a short duration. This proves changes in the genes can lead to evolution. The earliest forms of life, according to Roberts (68) were thermophiles. This conclusion was reached due to the existence of ribosomal RNA phylogenic trees in which the deepest members of the bacteria and archaea were presented in groups of thermophilic.
For a theory on the origin of life to be credible, it should be substantive and logical. It should also draw on the existing empirical data and also provide a solution that is logical for the future by using facts that can be proven easily. This evidence boosts the credibility of the theory on life origin (Sharma 105).
The majority of researchers believe the first life form was RNA and not DNA since DNA is far more stable compared to RNA.
In line with evolution principles, RNA must have been the first to come and DNA evolved as a result of natural selection in order to form a nucleotide that was more stable. What is more, RNA has the capability of replicating alone and it is DNA that requires RNA in order to be replicated. As such, DNA could not be the source of life on its own. Besides, some of the most basic unicellular organisms that have RNA do not have DNA. This proves RNA can support life on its own by assuming the role played by DNA but DNA does not have the ability to maintain life in absence of RNA (Sharma 107).
Archaea discovery provided knowledge that bacteria were not the only form of life that was simple. Scientists made the discovery that bacteria and archaea evolve differently but from an ancestor that is common. What is more, they also made the discovery that archaeon was the earliest eukaryotic form of life as such; it was likely the origin of all eukaryotes. The perception of bacteria as the only life source changed as a result of this. It is these discoveries that form the basis of microbial evolution as scientists made the discovery of differences in genetic stricture of 2 basic forms of life (Roberts 69).
Looking at the spread of infectious diseases from a perspective that is evolutionary contributes towards a better understanding of the disease. This is due to conventional methods used to control infectious diseases that are aimed at eradication of pathogens that cause disease namely, factors that lead to rapid evolvement of pathogens. Therefore, if there is no change of treatment, a new pathogen generation arises and the initial treatment loses its effectiveness as a result of the changes in target matter. Paul Edward feels to control infections, it is important to control the evolution of pathogens in order to make it possible for them to co-exist with people without posing any harm. According to neolarmarkian medicine, this can be achieved through epigenetic alteration means using environmental interruptions. Consequently, the interruptions are passed on to the next generation. The best example of the use of virulent microorganisms in the control of disease is the use of vaccines. In this case, the virulent part of the virulent organism is suppressed for purposes of making it mild. As such, the virulent microorganism gets introduced into the human body for purposes of preventing virulent microorganisms from establishing themselves in the body (Deem 1).
The understanding we have regarding HIV has evolved as a result of the microbial theory of evolution. Initially, the HIV search cure focused on killing the HIV virus. According to the forum on Board on Global Health, Microbial Threats and Institute of Medicine (224), it is evidently clear now that such an approach cannot be used to find the cure for HIV since the virus is very virulent and mutates at a rapid pace giving rise to viruses that are genetically different that are of a similar nature. As such, scientists now focus on microbial evolution ideas for purposes of controlling HIV through the use of either a vaccine or altering the evolution of the virus in order to ensure it is less virulent.
Deem, Rich. “Origin of Life: Latest Theories/Problems”. GodandScience.org. Web.
Forum on Microbial Threats, Board on Global Health, and Institute of Medicine. Microbial Evolution and Co-Adaptation: A Tribute to the Life and Scientific Legacies of Joshua Lederberg. National Academies. 2009. Press.
Roberts, David M. Evolution of Microbial Life: Fity-fourth Symposium of the Society for General Microbiology, Held at the University of Warwick, March 1996. Cambridge [u.a].: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Print.
Sharma, Vinod P. Nature at Work: Ongoing Saga of Evolution. New Delhi: Springer, 2010. Internet resource.
Strickberger, Monroe W. Evolution. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett, 2000. Print.
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