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By Alan Beeby, Anne-Maria Brennan (auth.)

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Extra resources for First ecology

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Entirely the result of chemical and physical processes, these droplets are nevertheless an important early stage in the self-organization needed for a living system. What these aggregations lack, of course, is the inheritance that a self-replicating molecule confers upon its copies. We know replication reactions can take place inside droplets. Replication requires only that a molecule should bind components from its surroundings and configure them into a copy of itself. The chemistry of the parent molecule simply ensures that the binding sequence leads to a copy, or to a complementary molecule (a 'negative') that can then make a copy of the parent.

Vulgaris. • Often the name is deseriptive, even for those with just a little knowledge of Latin or Greek. For example, vulgaris means 'eomrnon'. Sometimes the citation also gives the name of the authority immediately afterwards; for example, Helix aspersa Müller (the garden snail). The authority is the first person to deseribe that speeies in its eurrently aeeepted classifieation and who gave it the name. Scientifie papers usually eite the name of the authority when the Latin name is used for the first time.

RNA-mediated polymerization will occur outside ribosomes and we know RNA will bind amino acids weakly, long enough for them to be linked together. Any RNA molecule that coded for a polypeptide which, by chance, aided its own replication would be favoured. Again, the prevalence of this polypeptide and this RNA molecule is increased by the presence of each other. Perhaps inside a droplet such favourable associations would lead to further interdependence with other molecules. We might then at last have a selfreplicating system catalysed by an enzyme.

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