Faculty Advisor

Neshyba, Steven

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2022


RNA world theory was first developed in the 1960s by Carl Woese, Francis Crick, and Leslie Orgel. The theory proposes that early life forms used only RNA to store genetic information and DNA later evolved from RNA. The reasoning behind this is that RNA is capable of self-replication and can function as an enzyme for itself. The problem with RNA world theory is that RNA hydrolyzes quickly in aqueous solutions at room temperature. However, previous research has shown that RNA is more stable at low temperatures. While there has been some research on how RNA behaves on ice, there is none about how DNA behaves on ice. Previous research in the Neshyba lab compared RNA and DNA dinucleotides on ice and found differences in their behavior that could have ramifications for an RNA world on ice. This study will investigate why DNA and RNA behave differently on ice by examining the hydrogen bonds each dinucleotide forms.


University of Puget Sound