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Life 2016, 6(3), 26; doi:10.3390/life6030026

Constructive Approaches for Understanding the Origin of Self-Replication and Evolution

1
Department of Bioinformatics Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University, 1-5 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
2
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, 1-5 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Deamer
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Cellular Life)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1854 KB, uploaded 13 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

The mystery of the origin of life can be divided into two parts. The first part is the origin of biomolecules: under what physicochemical conditions did biomolecules such as amino acids, nucleotides, and their polymers arise? The second part of the mystery is the origin of life-specific functions such as the replication of genetic information, the reproduction of cellular structures, metabolism, and evolution. These functions require the coordination of many different kinds of biological molecules. A direct strategy to approach the second part of the mystery is the constructive approach, in which life-specific functions are recreated in a test tube from specific biological molecules. Using this approach, we are able to employ design principles to reproduce life-specific functions, and the knowledge gained through the reproduction process provides clues as to their origins. In this mini-review, we introduce recent insights gained using this approach, and propose important future directions for advancing our understanding of the origins of life. View Full-Text
Keywords: constructive approach; self-replication system; evolution; in vitro system constructive approach; self-replication system; evolution; in vitro system
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ichihashi, N.; Yomo, T. Constructive Approaches for Understanding the Origin of Self-Replication and Evolution. Life 2016, 6, 26.

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