Scientists find mechanism behind origin of life on Earth
However, many researchers find it hard to imagine how such a molecular network could have formed spontaneously with no precursors ¿ from the chemical environment of early Earth. "Some say it's equivalent to a tornado blowing through a junkyard and assembling the random pieces of metal and plastic into a Boeing 747," said co-author Wim Hordijk from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N Carolina.
In a previous study, Hordijk and colleague Mike Steel of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand used a mathematical model of simple chemical reactions to show that such networks might form more easily than many researchers thought.
Indeed, biochemists have recently created such networks in\ the lab.
In a new study, Hordijk, Steel and Stuart Kauffman from the University of Vermont analysed the structure of the networks in their
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