✔️ HL Verified
- Mar 13, 2005
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A self-assembling molecule synthesized in a laboratory may resemble the earliest form of information-carrying biological material, a transitional stage between lifeless chemicals and the complex genetic architectures of life.
Called tPNA, short for thioester peptide nucleic acids, the molecules spontaneously mimic the shape of DNA and RNA when mixed together. Left on their own, they gather in shape-shifting strands that morph into stable configurations.
The molecules havent yet achieved self-replication, the ultimate benchmark of life, but they hint at it. Best of all, their activities require no enzymes molecules that facilitate chemical reactions, but didnt yet exist in the primordial world modeled by scientists seeking insight into lifes murky origins.