Evolution of a Replicating Protocell

Authors: Terrance Cameron Stewart

This model proposes a minimally constructed replicating protocell that exploits only a positive, a negative and a neutral amino acid to build membranes, genes and ion channels. This transition from chemical to biological evolution would result from a charged peptide that can function as a template to fuse peptide fragments, and act as a membrane gate. The nucleic genetic code may have originated as a single base codon that recognized three types of amino acid residue. A two base codon with three base types could code for nine types of residue. An increase to four base types would produce 16 residue possibilities. The modern code now utilizes a three base codon and four base types to yield 20 types of amino acid. tRNA synthetases and the genetic code appear to be linked together by mutual evolution. The evolving transition to a nucleic code would support a greater variety of amino acids and proteins, and thus complete the creation of life.

Comments: 18 pages. e-mail: TC_STEWART20 (at) YAHOO (dot) COM

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[v1] 22 Jul 2009

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