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A theory for the origin of a self-replicating chemical system. I - Natural selection of the autogen from short, random oligomersA general theory is presented for the origin of a self-replicating chemical system, termed an autogen, which is capable of both crude replication and translation (protein synthesis). The theory requires the availability of free energy and monomers to the system, a significant background low-yield synthesis of kinetically stable oligopeptides and oligonucleotides, the localization of the oligomers, crude oligonucleotide selectivity of amino acids during oligopeptide synthesis, crude oligonucleotide replication, and two short peptide families which catalyze replication and translation, to produce a localized group of at least one copy each of two protogenes and two protoenzymes. The model posits a process of random oligomerization, followed by the random nucleation of functional components and the rapid autocatalytic growth of the functioning autogen to macroscopic amounts, to account for the origin of the first self-replicating system. Such a process contains steps of such high probability and short time periods that it is suggested that the emergence of an autogen in a laboratory experiment of reasonable time scale may be possible.
Document ID
19810032303
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
White, D. H. (Santa Clara, University Santa Clara, Calif., United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1980
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Molecular Evolution
Volume: 16
Subject Category
LIFE SCIENCES (GENERAL)
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NCA2-OR-685-806
CONTRACT_GRANT: NCA2-OR-685-708
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other