Re-creating an RNA world
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The RNA world hypothesis states that life originated via a system based on RNA genomes and RNA catalysts. Researchers have been trying to develop such a system since catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) were discovered in 1982. This review summarizes the recent progress made in that endeavor and outlines the obstacles that remain to be overcome. After giving a short background on prebiotic chemistry and in vitro evolution, the discussion focuses on the generation of three important components of an RNA world: a sufficient polymerase ribozyme, self-replicating membrane compartments and ribozymes that are capable of performing basic metabolic processes.
Keywords.Ribozymes catalytic RNA RNA world self-replication synthetic life artificial life origin of life
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