On the origins of life: A molecular and a cellular journey driven by genentropy
- Dimitrios Vlachakis
- George P. Chrousos
- Elias Eliopoulos
Affiliations: Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Biotechnology, School of Applied Biology and Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Athens, 11855 Athens, Greece, University Research Institute of Maternal and Child Health and Precision Medicine, and UNESCO Chair on Adolescent Health Care, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, ‘Aghia Sophia’ Children’s Hospital, 11527 Athens, Greece
- Published online on: August 17, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/ije.2021.7
Copyright: © Vlachakis
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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The most prominent scenario on the origins of life is that life began with RNA. This is a rather convenient hypothesis that has been based on an acceleration of complexity in the evolutionary time trajectory, including life. The negentropy introduced with life, and the progressively increasing complexity and specialized molecular mechanisms began with the genetic molecules of life and, in fact, with the least complicated one, which is the RNA. However, there are no solid explanations on key questions, such as the process through which the RNA was formed, and why those four bases and not five or two. Even if by an unbelievable turn of events and abundant evolutionary time, RNA was formed out of pure chance, the questions remain of where are the other molecules that should also have been made by chance and the process through which the RNA self-replicated. Herein, a novel approach identifying steroids as the first molecules to have started life is being suggested. The hypothesis presented herein describes early steroid-like clusters, organized in the three-dimensional space, which might have led to the formation of RNA. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulations support the initial formation of cyclohexanes that, through their physicochemical properties and a chemical cascade in the prehistoric earth could lead to the first early version of an RNA molecule. All in all, the herein proposed path for the creation of RNA, is a good Newtonian approximation that is compatible with human senses and observations. It is obvious that quantum mechanics, physics, and chemistry orchestrated at subatomic level the creation of the first molecules that gave rise to the first living cell and eventually life as we know it.