How did evolution begin?
Geplaatst op 28 september 2009 - 17:21
The tree of prelife has two roots, 0 and 1, and infinitely many lineages. The perfect prelife catalyst is a string that enhances the rates of all chemical reactions in its own lineage (as shown in red for the string 0100). Partial catalysis occurs if a string catalyses some reactions in its own lineage (as shown in blue for the string 1000).
Life's ability to replicate itself is essential for evolution, yet even the simplest kind of replication requires a relatively complex system. So what kind of non-replicating system might have served as the predecessor of evolution, paving the way for life as we know it? The answer, according to a recent study, is a kind of "prelife" -- a chemical system that can lead to information and diversity, and that is capable of selection and mutation, but does not yet have the ability to self-replicate.
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