From Quanta Magazine:
Joyce and others suspect it’s simply chance.
Actualy, they don’t susect that; they know that. It is the one thing they truly know. Everything else is “nearly,” “possibility,” and “close.”
Joyce remains interested in making life from scratch. Everything else, including the chirality problem, is just a hurdle toward that larger prize, he said.
The new ribozyme may provide the best shot yet. It nearly fulfills the most basic properties of life — the ability to replicate and to evolve. “They went so far as to show the mirror image can copy itself,” Chaput said. “That gets very close to replication.” The next step will be to make that happen iteratively. “If you look in the mirror, make a copy, then put yourself in the mirror, and make a copy of the person in the mirror, then you have replication,” Chaput said.
That iterative process opens the possibility for evolution, as mistakes made during copying will allow the molecule to evolve new traits. “The real key to all of it has been setting up a system in the lab capable of evolution on its own,” Unrau said. “Jerry is close.”
We are always “close” to “ capable of evolution on its own.”
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