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Evol_8 - Theories of the Origin of Life The Primordial Soup...

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Theories of the Origin of Life The Primordial Soup Experiment: In 1953, Stanley Miller mixed methane, ammonia, water vapor, and hydorogen gas, and applied electric sparks to the mixture. After about a week, Miller discovered that the mixture contained amino acids.
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Since that time, other similar experiments have generated nucleotides and other amino acids. However, nucleotides are much more difficult to synthesize. Casti mentions, roughly, five proto-theories of the origin of life: 1. Naked Genies 2. Proteinists 3. Double-origin 4. Clay theory 5. the superchip from outer space
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Naked Genies On this view, strands of RNA spontaneously formed, and eventually self-replicating strands arose. (See p. 90-91) The self-replicators ended up dominating the prebiotic "soup", and competition ensued. The strands that could self-replicate more readily tended to leave more offspring.
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Problem for naked genies: Without error-correcting enzyme, cannot consistently achieve genome longer than ~100 nucleotides. But such a short strand cannot code for a correcting enzyme.(p.93) Possible response:
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