Proposed theory of prebiotic RNA synthesis

From Nature Editor’s Summary:

The origin of life on Earth required — at some point — the synthesis of a genetic polymer from simple chemicals. The leading candidate for this role is RNA, but although ‘activated’ ribonucleotide molecules (the building blocks of RNA) can polymerize without enzymes, no plausible route had been found by which the ribonucleotides could have formed. Now a team from the University of Manchester has found such a route. They also show that a widely held assumption about ribonucleotide synthesis — that the molecules formed from pre-existing sugar molecules and RNA bases — isn’t necessary for RNA to have formed on prebiotic Earth.

The relevant articles are linked on the Editor’s Summary page.

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