We examine the stability of three key components needed to establish an RNA World under a range of potential conditions present on the early earth. The stability of ribose, cytosine, and the phosphodiester bond are estimated at different pH values and temperatures by extrapolating available experimental data. The conditions we have chosen range from highly acidic or alkaline hydrothermal vents, to the milder conditions in a primordial ocean at a range of atmospheric CO2 partial pressures.
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JK thanks the University of San Diego for sabbatical funding. JLB acknowledges support from the Center for Chemical Evolution at Georgia Tech, jointly supported by NSF and the NASA Astrobiology Program (NSF CHE-1004570).
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Kua, J., Bada, J.L. Primordial Ocean Chemistry and its Compatibility with the RNA World. Orig Life Evol Biosph 41, 553–558 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11084-011-9250-5