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Thermal, Autonomous Replicator Made from Transfer RNA

Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 238104 – Published 4 June 2012
Hubert Krammer, Friederike M. Möller, and Dieter Braun
Physics logo See Synopsis: Thermal Cycling Drives a Fast RNA Replicator


Evolving systems rely on the storage and replication of genetic information. Here we present an autonomous, purely thermally driven replication mechanism. A pool of hairpin molecules, derived from transfer RNA replicates the succession of a two-letter code. Energy is first stored thermally in metastable hairpins. Thereafter, energy is released by a highly specific and exponential replication with a duplication time of 30 s, which is much faster than the tendency to produce false positives in the absence of template. Our experiments propose a physical rather than a chemical scenario for the autonomous replication of protein encoding information in a disequilibrium setting.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.238104

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  • Received 18 March 2012
  • Published 4 June 2012

© 2012 American Physical Society


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Thermal Cycling Drives a Fast RNA Replicator

Published 4 June 2012

Could thermal conditions have been enough to drive fast RNA replication in prebiotic liquids?

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Authors & Affiliations

Hubert Krammer, Friederike M. Möller, and Dieter Braun

  • Systems Biophysics, Physics Department, Center for Nanoscience, Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, Amalienstrasse 54, 80799 München, Germany

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