CRC 235 Emergence of Life

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Prebiotic Nucleoside Synthesis - The Selectivity of Simplicity

F. Kruse 2020 Chem. Eur. J.


F. Kruse, J. Teichert, and O. Trapp

Chem. Eur. J.


2020_kruseEver since the discovery of nucleic acids 150 years ago, major achievements have been made in understanding and decrypting the fascinating scientific questions of the genetic code. However, the most fundamental question about the origin and the evolution of the genetic code remains a mystery. How did nature manage to build up such intriguingly complex molecules able to encode structure and function from simple building blocks? What conditions were required? How could the precursors survive the unhostile environment of early earth? Over the past decades, promising synthetic concepts were proposed providing clarity in the field of prebiotic nucleic acid research. In this review, we show the current status and various approaches to answer these fascinating questions.