origin of life


Summary: The process by which life began.

Top Publications

  1. Deamer D. On the origin of systems. Systems biology, synthetic biology and the origin of life. EMBO Rep. 2009;10 Suppl 1:S1-4 pubmed publisher
  2. Lane N, Martin W. Eukaryotes really are special, and mitochondria are why. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015;112:E4823 pubmed publisher
  3. Yarus M. Efficient Heritable Gene Expression Readily Evolves in RNA Pools. J Mol Evol. 2017;84:236-252 pubmed publisher
    ..Remarkably, such uncontrolled conditions are not necessarily hostile, but can instead accelerate appearance of primordial gene-like behavior. ..
  4. Goldford J, Hartman H, Smith T, Segrè D. Remnants of an Ancient Metabolism without Phosphate. Cell. 2017;168:1126-1134.e9 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results corroborate and expand previous proposals that a putative thioester-based metabolism could have predated the incorporation of phosphate and an RNA-based genetic system. PAPERCLIP. ..
  5. Stern R, Jedrzejas M. Carbohydrate polymers at the center of life's origins: the importance of molecular processivity. Chem Rev. 2008;108:5061-85 pubmed publisher
  6. Ralser M. The RNA world and the origin of metabolic enzymes. Biochem Soc Trans. 2014;42:985-8 pubmed publisher
    An RNA world has been placed centre stage for explaining the origin of life. Indeed, RNA is the most plausible molecule able to form both a (self)-replicator and to inherit information, necessities for initiating genetics...
  7. Nitschke J. Systems chemistry: Molecular networks come of age. Nature. 2009;462:736-8 pubmed publisher
  8. Ruiz Mirazo K, Briones C, de la Escosura A. Prebiotic systems chemistry: new perspectives for the origins of life. Chem Rev. 2014;114:285-366 pubmed publisher
  9. Robertson M, Joyce G. The origins of the RNA world. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012;4: pubmed publisher
    ..A thorough consideration of this "RNA-first" view of the origin of life must reconcile concerns regarding the intractable mixtures that are obtained in experiments designed to ..

More Information


  1. Melendez Hevia E. From the RNA world to the DNA-protein world: clues to the origin and early evolution of life in the ribosome. J Biosci. 2009;34:825-7 pubmed
  2. Cronin L, Walker S. ORIGIN OF LIFE. Beyond prebiotic chemistry. Science. 2016;352:1174-5 pubmed publisher
  3. Barge L, Branscomb E, Brucato J, Cardoso S, Cartwright J, Danielache S, et al. Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium, Evolution: Far-From-Equilibrium Geological and Chemical Considerations for Origin-Of-Life Research. Orig Life Evol Biosph. 2017;47:39-56 pubmed publisher
  4. Szostak N, Synak J, Borowski M, Wasik S, Blazewicz J. Simulating the origins of life: The dual role of RNA replicases as an obstacle to evolution. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0180827 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that this might be a cause for one of the greatest transitions in life that took place early in evolution-the separation of the function between DNA templates and protein enzymes, with a central role for RNA species. ..
  5. Kinsler G, Sinai S, Lee N, Nowak M. Prebiotic selection for motifs in a model of template-free elongation of polymers within compartments. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0180208 pubmed publisher
    ..In the context of origin of life, evolution of information-carrying molecules and RNA based enzymes within compartments has been subject to ..
  6. Higgs P. Chemical Evolution and the Evolutionary Definition of Life. J Mol Evol. 2017;84:225-235 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, I argue that chemical evolution, although Darwinian, does not quite constitute life, and that a good place to put the conceptual boundary between non-life and life is between chemical and biological evolution. ..
  7. Schreiber U, Mayer C, Schmitz O, Rosendahl P, Bronja A, Greule M, et al. Organic compounds in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz-Analogues of prebiotic chemistry on early Earth. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177570 pubmed publisher
    The origin of life is still an unsolved mystery in science...
  8. Luisi P, Kuruma Y. Open Questions on the Origin of Life (OQOL)--introduction to the special issue. Orig Life Evol Biosph. 2014;44:267-8 pubmed publisher
  9. Benner S. Paradoxes in the origin of life. Orig Life Evol Biosph. 2014;44:339-43 pubmed publisher
  10. Norris V, Reusch R, Igarashi K, Root Bernstein R. Molecular complementarity between simple, universal molecules and ions limited phenotype space in the precursors of cells. Biol Direct. 2014;10:28 pubmed publisher
    ..As examples, we propose that acidocalcisomes arose from interactions and self-selection among SUMIs and that the phosphorylation of proteins in modern cells had its origin in the covalent modification of proteins by PHB. ..
  11. Martin W, Sousa F, Lane N. Evolution. Energy at life's origin. Science. 2014;344:1092-3 pubmed publisher
  12. Penny D. Cooperation and selfishness both occur during molecular evolution. Biol Direct. 2014;10:26 pubmed publisher
    ..are extensive examples of cooperative behavior among genes and proteins in both functioning cells and in the origin of life, so this cooperative nature, along with selfishness, must be considered part of normal evolution...
  13. Deamer D. Special collection of essays: what is life? Introduction. Astrobiology. 2010;10:1001-2 pubmed publisher
  14. Agmon I. Sequence complementarity at the ribosomal Peptidyl Transferase Centre implies self-replicating origin. FEBS Lett. 2017;591:3252-3258 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, it indicates a simple and efficient replication mode; the strand of each monomer could have acted as a template for the synthesis of its counterpart, forming a self-replicating ribozyme. ..