The crucibles that bore out building blocks of life may have been, in many cases, not fiery cataclysms, but modest puddles. Researchers working with that hypothesis have achieved a significant advancement toward understanding the evolutionary mystery of how components of RNA and DNA formed from chemicals present on early Earth before life existed. In surprisingly simple reactions they have produced good candidates for their precursors that even spontaneously joined up to look like RNA. Paper. (public access) – Brian J. Cafferty, David M. Fialho, Jaheda Khanam, Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, Nicholas V. Hud. Spontaneous formation and base pairing of plausible prebiotic nucleotides in water. Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 11328 DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS11328 More.
The wheels come off later, one suspects. Otherwise, why isn’t life erupting in puddles all around us?
What we know and don’t, know about the origin of life
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