ORIGIN OF LIFE AND THE FOSSIL RECORD

ORIGIN OF LIFE AND THE FOSSIL RECORD - polymers are heated...

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ORIGIN OF LIFE AND THE FOSSIL RECORD A brief review of salient points regarding the origin of life: Cosmic calendar: Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago; there has been a long time for life to evolve. It took about a billion years to get through the early stages of chemical evolution such that there is some form of self-replicating system (e.g., a primitive living thing in its simplest definition). Miller experiments lead to formation of amino acids under lab conditions simulating a primitive earth atmosphere. Subsequent reactions could produce short polymers of the amino acids. When
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Unformatted text preview: polymers are heated to 130°C to 180°C and then cooled in water to 25°C - 0°C proteinoid microspheres form. These provide evidence that simple cells could have formed from some of the earliest compounds. Progress has also been made on the synthesis of nucleic acids. One significant bit of evidence, much further down the line, was the discovery of catalytic RNAs that performed enzyme like functions. This, and other evidence, suggested that RNA may be ancestral and DNA is a derived molecule for the storage of genetic material....
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