Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 47–61

Stages of emerging life —Five principles of early organization

  • M. Eigen
  • P. Schuster


Five principles underly the evolution of the genetic language: formation of stereoregular heteropolymers, selection through self-replication, evolution of quasispecies towards optimal structures, regulated cooperation between competitors through catalytic hypercycles and evaluation of translation products through compartmentalization. These principles are formulated and illustrated by means of experimental results

Key words

Prebiotic evolution Polynucleotide replication Quasispecies Hypercycles Compartmentalization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Eigen
    • 1
  • P. Schuster
    • 2
  1. 1.Max Planck Institut für Biophysikalische ChemieGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Theoretische Chemie und Strahlenchemie der Universität WienWienAustria

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