By Naveen Tripathi, Nabajit Das, Arindam Sikdar, Aabid Hussain

The RNA world concept that self-replicating ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules are keys to all current forms of life on Earth and geticists could not go further down might have missed out on how evolution has actually happened in real genetic terms.

Out of all hypothesis and proposals, one that stands strong in the debate of “RNA before DNA” is “protein synthesis can occur in the absence of DNA but not in the absence of RNA” . To contest this hypothesis, one should take a close look on life of an RNA molecule and their early degeneration process.

Earlier RNA-protein interaction systems are highly doubtful because RNA is never a long-time informational molecule and even if they are or they used to be, many such information might got lost. Assuming this kind of unstable molecule being the early days primary replication machinery, information contents might have significantly lost and this will again raise a question on how similar or same species maintains identity?

Transferring information outside of the nucleus is only required when there is a nucleus.

Taken together these concepts, we need to revisit the origin of life in newer genetic terms.


The RNA world is also concerned about transferring information in the absence of the nucleus -- prior to the formation of a structure that could be called a nucleus, we had self-replicating molecules. Such self-replicating molecules probably had a mechanism for 'information transfer'. The formation of an envelope around these self-replicating molecules could have constituted the protocell. Having said that, the evidence is not conclusive as you rightly indicate.

Ashok Palaniappan · 24 Sep, 2015
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Naveen Tripathi, Nabajit Das, Arindam Sikdar, Aabid Hussain



Published: 16 Sep, 2015

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