Origin of Life Opinion Published!

All life on earth can trace its origins back to an ancestral cell population. But our lineage does not stop there. Even the very earliest cells were too complex to arise by a chance mixing of molecules. This means the first cells themselves must have evolved from even simpler self-replicating systems. In this work published in Trends in Ecology and Evolutioni> we support the view that these very fist ancestral replicators were actually two-component systems consisting of a short strand of nucleic acid and a short peptide. The nucleic acid encodes and synthesizes the peptide and the peptide copies the nucleic acid. Together they make a complete self-replicating system capable of evolving. Access the paper here