Sunday, December 26, 2010

Origins of Life at Higher Temperatures

Modern biology depends on an intricate web of chemical reactions, many of which are vastly accelerated by enzymes, which themselves are typically large molecules made by complicated machinery. How did this extraordinary network manage to evolve from a nonliving environment? This paper in PNAS, The Impact of temperature on the time required for the establishment of primordial biochemistry, and for the evolution of enzymes, points out in that many important biochemical reactions proceed much faster in higher temperature environments, which might have been typical in the early earth.

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