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Origins of Life
Origins of Life

Life functions through the specialized chemistry of four categories of organic molecules: lipids (main component of cellular membrane), carbohydrates (sugars and cellulose), amino acids (protein building blocks), and nucleic acids (self-replicating DNAs and RNAs). Many approaches to abiogenesis investigate how self-replicating molecules came into existence. It is thought that RNAs could have been the predominant players in the early years of abiogenesis.

The study is a part of an ongoing effort to unravel missing link that bridges pre-biological chemistry and cell-based biochemistry. The TSRI team has discovered that DAP, a product of trimetaphosphate, can efficiently phosphorylate a wide variety of (pre)biological building blocks such as nucleosides/tides, amino acids, and lipid precursors, under the pre-biotic aqueous environment without the need for a condensing agent. What is more important, higher-order structures like oligonucleotides, peptides, and liposomes can also be formed under the same phosphorylation conditions.
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