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Trends Biochem Sci. 1998 Dec;23(12):491-5.

The origin of life--a review of facts and speculations.

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  • 1Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Three popular hypotheses attempt to explain the origin of prebiotic molecules: synthesis in a reducing atmosphere, input in meteorites and synthesis on metal sulfides in deep-sea vents. It is not possible to decide which is correct. It is also unclear whether the RNA world was the first biological world or whether some simpler world preceded it.

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