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Origin of life theory involving RNA–protein hybrid gets new support

Origin of Life rna

Structure that links amino acids suggests that early organisms could have been based on an RNA–protein mix

Chemists say they have solved a crucial problem in a theory of life’s beginnings, by demonstrating that RNA molecules can link short chains of amino acids together.

The findings, published on 11 May in Nature1, support a variation on the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis, which proposes that before the evolution of DNA and the proteins it encodes, the first organisms were based on strands of RNA, a molecule that can both store genetic information — as sequences of the nucleosides A, C, G and U — and act as a catalyst for chemical reactions.

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