Ribozymes and the RNA World

Which came first the chicken or the egg?—Protein or nucleic acid? Since it is possible for random RNA molecules to be assembled and duplicate themselves under primeval conditions, it is generally held that nucleic acids appeared first. Furthermore, although most modern-day enzymes are indeed proteins, examples of RNA acting as enzyme and catalyzing reactions without help from proteins do exist. This scenario suggests quasi-species A set of closely related sequences whose individual members vary from consensus by frequent errors or mutations

Nucleotides plus

Polyphosphate

Polyphosphate

Nucleotides line up on template

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