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Life 2016, 6(3), 29; doi:10.3390/life6030029

A Hypothesis: Life Initiated from Two Genes, as Deduced from the RNA World Hypothesis and the Characteristics of Life-Like Systems

Department of Human Environmental Studies, Hiroshima Shudo University, 1-1-1, Ozuka-higashi, Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima 731-3195, Japan
Academic Editor: David Deamer
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 2 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Cellular Life)
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Abstract

RNA played a central role in the emergence of the first life-like system on primitive Earth since RNA molecules contain both genetic information and catalytic activity. However, there are several drawbacks regarding the RNA world hypothesis. Here, I briefly discuss the feasibility of the RNA world hypothesis to deduce the RNA functions that are essential for forming a life-like system. At the same time, I have conducted a conceptual analysis of the characteristics of biosystems as a useful approach to deduce a realistic life-like system in relation to the definition of life. For instance, an RNA-based life-like system should possess enough stability to resist environmental perturbations, by developing a cell-like compartment, for instance. Here, a conceptual viewpoint is summarized to provide a realistic life-like system that is compatible with the primitive Earth environment and the capabilities of RNA molecules. According to the empirical and conceptual analysis, I propose the hypothesis that the first life-like system could have initiated from only two genes. View Full-Text
Keywords: first genes; metabolism; information flow; RNA world; hydrothermal environments; kinetic model; definition of life; Hadean Earth environments first genes; metabolism; information flow; RNA world; hydrothermal environments; kinetic model; definition of life; Hadean Earth environments
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Kawamura, K. A Hypothesis: Life Initiated from Two Genes, as Deduced from the RNA World Hypothesis and the Characteristics of Life-Like Systems. Life 2016, 6, 29.

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