Walking over 4 Gya: Chemical Evolution from Photochemistry to Mineral and Organic Chemistries Leading to an RNA World
Here we overview the chemical evolution of RNA molecules from inorganic material through mineral-mediated RNA formation compatible with the plausible early Earth environments. Pathways from the gas-phase reaction to the formation of nucleotides, activation and oligomerization of nucleotides, seem to be compatible with specific environments. However, how these steps interacted is not clear since the chemical conditions are frequently different and can be incompatible between them; thus the products would have migrated from one place to another, suitable for further chemical evolution. In this review, we summarize certain points to scrutinize the RNA World hypothesis.