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origins of life
A Biochemist’s View of Life’s Origin Reframes Cancer and Aging
The biochemist Nick Lane thinks life first evolved in hydrothermal vents where precursors of metabolism appeared before genetic information. His ideas could lead us to think differently about aging and cancer.
Life’s First Peptides May Have Grown on RNA Strands
RNA and peptides coevolving in the primordial world might have jointly served as a precursor to the modern ribosome.
In Test Tubes, RNA Molecules Evolve Into a Tiny Ecosystem
When researchers gave a genetic molecule the ability to replicate, it evolved over time into a complex network of “hosts” and “parasites” that both competed and cooperated to survive.
Peptides on Stardust May Have Provided a Shortcut to Life
The discovery that short peptides can form spontaneously on cosmic dust hints at more of a role for them in the earliest stages of life’s origin, on Earth or elsewhere.
At the Dawn of Life, Heat May Have Driven Cell Division
A mathematical model shows how a thermodynamic mechanism could have made protocells split in two.