08 October 2015

Chemputer – Abiotic peptide synthesizer

Chemical supercomputer will reveal the secret of the origin of life

Scientists from the University of Glasgow have created a unique computer that will study and analyze the formation of combinations of constituent parts during the construction of a peptide chain. The inventors have already dubbed their brainchild a "chemical search engine". A team of scientists describes their invention in today's issue of the journal Nature Communications (Rodriguez-Garcia et al., Formation of oligopeptides in high yield under simple programmable conditions, publicly available - VM).

The group of researchers is headed by Professor Lee Cronin of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow. Earlier, his group investigated the origin of inorganic nature and created a "chemical computer", as the scientists themselves dubbed it. The robot was a 3D printer that "printed" complex chemical compounds.

Perhaps in the future it will be possible not to go to the pharmacy, but to download the recipe from the Internet and print your own medicines using special chemical "ink" – VM.
Scientists call their new invention a "chemical search engine" and believe that it will revolutionize more than 50 years of studying the formation of peptides.

"Proteins are the simplest elements from which any living organism, each of its cells, is built. However, we still cannot say for sure whether they were primary or whether they were a product of DNA and RNA," Cronin said (in a press release, University of Glasgow Can a chemical search engine explain how life began on Earth? – VM).

The inventor compared the new robot with a Google-type search engine. "Our "chemical search engine" is able to investigate a significant number of chemical compounds, in much the same way as Google does on the Internet. But instead of working with HTML code, our system works with chemical reactions," Cronin explained.

The dual abiotic peptide synthesizer (‘abiotic peptide synthesizer') is at work.
The computer controlling it remained behind the scenes. A snapshot from an article in Nature Communications – VM.The robot will help scientists to carefully record how many combinations of chemicals are released as a result of the reaction, which, in turn, will help them calculate the probability of the first set of molecules that have become the basis of all life on Earth.

Professor Cronin expects that the study will show that the origin of life on Earth is a much simpler process than previously thought.

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