Condensation Reactions of Lysine in the Presence of Polyadenylic Acid

  • Loring K. Bjornson
  • Richard M. Lemmon
  • Melvin Calvin


Since the existence of life depends upon the genetic code, an understanding of the code’s origins and evolution is crucial to the understanding of how life began. Recent discussions (1–6) have dealt with amino acid and nucleic acid abiogeneses and how these may have been coupled to give rise to the genetic code. The papers of Crick (6) and Orgel (7) contain detailed theoretical analyses of the problem. One of the conclusions presented was that there may have been prebiological polynucleotides with catalytic properties. There are presently two extreme views on the origin of the genetic code, one that an amino acid’s codon resulted from a direct interaction between the amino acid and its codon, and the other that the assignment of a codon to a particular amino acid was purely arbitrary. Since the theory that the codon assignments are “accidental” is not subject to experimental verification, the case would seem to rest on proving or disproving the “direct interaction” hypothesis.


Genetic Code Condensation Reaction Biochemical Evolution Carbonyl Carbon Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loring K. Bjornson
    • 1
  • Richard M. Lemmon
    • 1
  • Melvin Calvin
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Chemical Biodynamics Lawrence Berkeley LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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