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RNA world

RNA World

The molecular architecture of modern-day organisms is based on a division of labour among two types of biopolymers, proteins, which perform the bulk of molecular function and the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, which encode and carry genetic information. However, there is compelling evidence that in a distant evolutionary past, our ancestors used just one of these molecules RNA for both genetic information storage and metabolism.

A cornerstone of the RNA world conjecture is the existence of an RNA polymerase ribozyme capable of replication of itself and the primordial RNA “genome”. Indeed, the emergence of such an RNA replicase is widely considered to mark a beginning of the transition from chemistry to biology, as it would embody within itself the capacity for both heredity and evolution, two key traits that distinguish living organisms from inanimate matter.

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