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Life's Origin - Chemical Approach


Dedicated to one of the great pioneers of this science, Leslie Orgel, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, this compilation of reviews and original manuscripts provides an overview of the current state of the art, written by some of the major players in this creative domain of 'explorative chemistry' (such as Christian De Duve, Albert Eschenmoser, Günter Wächtershäuser).

Since we are still far from finding a definitive answer to the most fundamental of questions in science, 'chemistry' here is defined in its broadest sense. It is against this background that the contributions cover such a wide range of theories, including chemistry and selection, evolution of the pioneer organism, chemical aspects of synthetic biology, ribozyme catalysis of metabolism in the RNA world, intractable mixtures and the origin of life, the chemical etiology of nucleic acids, interstellar amino acids, and even the chemistry that preceded life's origin.

The majority of the articles reproduced in this volume originally appeared in a special issue of Chemistry & Biodiversity under the same title.