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Potential "Missing Link" in Chemistry that Led to Life on Earth Discovered

Matti Pitkanen


The phosphorylation of short nucleotide sequences, amino-acid sequences, and lipids making possible formation of small cell membrane like structures is necessary for the formation of larger structures from their building bricks. As noticed, ribozymes catalyze only dephosphorylation. How RNA was phosphorylated during RNA era or were the amino-acids present all the time? It was recently discovered that an organic molecule known as diamidophosphate (DAP) having chemical formula could do the job in presence of water and imidazol. DAP could solve several problems simultaneously: how the short sequences of RNA (later DNA) and amino-acids emerged, and how the predecessors of cell membranes emerged. It is not however whether this process could have been fast enough or whether the slowness only made the first step painful. This problem will be discussed in the sequel.

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