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I encountered a highly interesting work related to the emergence of RNA world: warmly recommended. For a popular article see this. First some basic terms for the possible reader of the article. There are three key enzymes involved in the process which is believed to lead to a formation of longer RNA sequences able to replicate.
Self ligation should take place. RNA strands would serve as ligases for the generation of longer RNA strands. The smallest RNA sequences exhibiting self-ligation activity was found to be 40-nucleotide RNA and shorter than expected. It had lowest efficiency but highest functional flexibility to ligate substrates to itself. R18 - established RNA polymerase model - had highest efficiency and highest selectivity.
What I can say about the results is that they give support for the notion of RNA world.
The work is related to the vision about RNA world proposed to precede DNA-RNA-protein world. Why I found it so interesting is that it relates to on particular TGD inspired glimpse to what happened in primordial biology.
In TGD Universe it is natural to imagine 3 worlds. RNA world, RNA-tRNA world, and DNA-RNA-protein world. For an early rather detailed version of the idea about transition from RNA world to DNA-RNA-proteins world but not realizing the tRNA-RNA world as intermediate step see this.
See the chapter Evolution in Many-Sheeted Space-Time.
Are all of us artists? I could immediately answer the question: we are artists - all of us. This is what my "Great Experience" taught me about consciousness before I had any theory of consciousness. I started to work systematically with the problem of consciousness - that is to write a book, which is the manner I work - only 10 years after this experience.
What I claim is that the construction of sensory mental images is not a passive process but a creation of an artwork, kind of caricature giving a representation of the sensory input optimal as far as survival is considered. This means decomposition of the sensory input to features and picking up the key features relevant for the survival.
The article with link below is a written and slightly longer version of a talk in which I told about the role of vision in sensory experience seen in the theoretical framework provided by TGD inspired theory of consciousness. I decided to tell about my "Great Experience around 1985 since it divides my life to two parts: life before and after this experience, and because this experience provided fascinating insights to consciousness and perception, not only visual, but also auditory perception and proprioception (body experience). I have told about this experience in my homepage (see this) and in some material in books and articles to be found there (for instance).
There are online books about TGD proper and two published books (Luniver and Bentham). For TGD inspired theory of consciousness and quantum biology see the online books at my homepage and the published book about consciousness and quantum biology (Lambert). The article Philosophy of Adelic Physics published by Springer explains the recent vision about the mathematics forced by consciousness theory.
For details see the chapter Magnetospheric sensory representations or the article Are we all artists?: or what my "Great Experience" taught me about consciousness.
Two highly interesting findings providing insights about the origins of life have emerged and it is interesting to see how they fit to the TGD inspired vision.
The group led by Thomas Carell has made an important step in the understanding the origins of life (see this). They have identified a mechanism leading to the generation of purines A and G which besides pyrimidines A,T (U) are the basic building bricks of DNA and RNA. The crucial step is to make the solution involved slightly acidic by adding protons. For year later I learned that a variant of Urey-Miller experiment with simulation of shock waves perhaps generated by extraterrestrial impacts using laser pulses generates formamide and this in turn leads to the generation of all 4 RNA bases (see the popular article and article).
These findings represent a fascinating challenge for TGD inspired quantum biology. The proposal is that formamide is the unique amide, which can form stable bound states with dark protons and crucial for the development of life as dark matter-visible matter symbiosis. Pollack effect would generate electron rich exclusions zones and dark protons at magnetic flux tubes. Dark protons would bind stably with unique amine leaving its chemical properties intact. This would lead to the generation of purines and the 4 RNA bases. This would be starting point of life as symbiosis of ordinary matter and dark matter as large heff/h=n phases of ordinary matter generated at quantum criticality induced by say extraterrestrial impacts. The TGD based model for cold fusion and the recent results about superdense phase of hydrogen identifiable in TGD framework as dark proton sequences giving rise to dark nuclear strings provides support for this picture.
There is however a problem: a reductive environment (with ability to donate electrons) is needed in these experiments: it seems that early atmosphere was not reductive. In TGD framework one can imagine two - not mutually exclusive - solutions of the problem. Either life evolved in underground oceans, where oxygen concentration was small or Pollack effect gave rise to negatively charged and thus reductive exclusion zones (EZs) as protons were transferred to dark protons at magnetic flux tubes. The function of UV radiation, catalytic action, and of shock waves would be generation of quantum criticality inducing the creation of EZs making possible dark heff/h=n phases.
For details and background see the article Two steps towards understanding of the origins of life or the chapter Evolution in Many-Sheeted Space-Time.