With colleague Tracey Lincoln, Gerald Joyce (picured) has created an artificial genetic system that can undergo self-sustained replication and evolution. Credit: Scripps Research Institute
SAN DIEGO: Can life arise from nothing but a chaotic assortment of basic molecules? The answer is a lot closer following a series of ingenious experiments that have shown evolution at work in non-living molecules.
For the first time, scientists have synthesized RNA enzymes – ribonucleic acid enzymes also known as ribozymes - that can replicate themselves without the help of any proteins or other cellular components.
What’s more, these simple nucleic acids can act as catalysts and continue the process indefinitely.
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