Monday, 27 June, 2011
Emergence of Information Transmission in a Prebiotic RNA Reactor
B. Obermayer, H. Krammer, D. Braun, and U. Gerland -
Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 107 (1), 018101 (2011)
A poorly understood step in the transition from a chemical to a biological world is the emergence of self-replicating molecular systems. We study how a precursor for such a replicator might arise in a hydrothermal RNA reactor, which accumulates longer sequences from unbiased monomer influx and random ligation. In the reactor, intra- and intermolecular base pairing locally protects from random cleavage. By analyzing stochastic simulations, we find temporal sequence correlations that constitute a signature of information transmission, weaker but of the same form as in a true replicator.