RNA-DNA World Hypothesis: Definition & Examples

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What is RNA-DNA World Hypothesis?

Life has been originated from RNA, is what it is been stated by the RNA world hypothesis. The reason it is been said so because RNA can behave as a catalyst as well as a genetic material. Since million of years, life in various forms of RNA, has been transformed as cells.

It could be said that RNA is one of the earliest forms of life from which the diversification has further taken place. The RNA world hypothesis creator is the Carl Woese, who is a physicist as well as a microbiologist. As RNA can self-replicate, they can be the primitives, from which all the others have diversified in 1967.

Theory on the Origin of RNA

Scientist assume that RNA must have originated from the outer-space of the asteroids or must have been generated from it and must have landed from meteorites on Earth. The reason behind that is when the NASA examined the meteorites, they found nucleotides like guanine and adenine from meteorites, which could result, in the spontaneous generation of DNA and RNA on earth. They also found uracil, thymine and cytosine, which are pyrimidine formed from space’s outer conditions and their precursors were found in the meteorites in March 2015.


As RNA is single stranded it is less complicated than DNA which consists of two strands which are coiled amongst each other. The nucleotides in DNA are held by the phosphodiester bonds and these nucleotides comprises of 4 bases, adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine, along with deoxyribose sugar and phosphoric acid.

However, in RNA, thymine is replaced by uracil. Scientist have found these nucleobases in meteorites makes them ponder about how life originated. The process where how RNA can be transformed into DNA without enzymes and how in the environment, nucleic acids are formed resulted in various questions, which was answered by a scientist saying that the origination of life from only RNA on

Earth is not possible, along with RNA, DNA might have also been present, which completes the system and is now ruled by DNA system.

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