Special Issue "The RNA World and the Origin of Life"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017).
Interests: origin of life; RNA structure and evolution; RNA world; mathematical and computational models; phylogenetic methods; molecular evolution; population genetics; biophysics
The RNA World has become a widely-accepted hypothesis for the Origin of Life, and has reached the level of a 'textbook theory'. Nevertheless, many issues related to the RNA World remain to be demonstrated fully in experiments, and important theoretical questions remain as to how RNA-based life could have originated, survived, and evolved. This Special Issue will focus on all questions related to the role of RNA, or similar nucleic-acid like polymers, in the origin of life and the early stages of evolution.
Under what prebiotic conditions could RNA be synthesized and remain stable? Is there a reason RNA was selected as a substrate for genetics and catalysis, rather than any alternative kind of polymer? What are the capabilities of synthetic ribozymes in the laboratory? How does the origin of replicating systems relate to the origin of protocells and metabolism? How complex did the RNA world become before the advent of the genetic code and translation? How can co-operative replicators (such as polymerase ribozymes) overcome the problems of parasitic templates and the limited accuracy of replication? How can simple replicating molecules evolve towards the complex genetic systems that we see in today's prokaryotic cells?
By addressing questions such as these, this Special Issue aims to understand to what extent the RNA World concept stands up as a comprehensive theory for the origin of life.
Prof. Paul Higgs
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- RNA World
- Template-directed synthesis
- Nucleic Acids
- Evolution of cooperation
- Modelling the Origin of Life