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Has a Computer Algorithm Discovered the Secret of Life?

#artificialintelligence

As a case in point, it is provocative that the 82 biotic compounds which formed--a small fraction of the nearly 37,000 compounds generated by the in silico reactions--all share a suite of physicochemical properties that make these compounds unusually stable and relatively unreactive. These qualities cause these materials to persist in the prebiotic setting. It is also intriguing that these 82 compounds display synthetic redundancy, with the capability of being generated by several distinct chemical routes. It is also fortuitous that these compounds possess the just-right set of properties--many of which overlap with the set of properties that distinguish them from the vast number of abiotic compounds--that make them ideally suited to survive on early Earth and useful as building block materials for life.


Design of a P System based Artificial Graph Chemistry

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Chemistries (ACs) are symbolic chemical metaphors for the exploration of Artificial Life, with specific focus on the origin of life. In this work we define a P system based artificial graph chemistry to understand the principles leading to the evolution of life-like structures in an AC set up and to develop a unified framework to characterize and classify symbolic artificial chemistries by devising appropriate formalism to capture semantic and organizational information. An extension of P system is considered by associating probabilities with the rules providing the topological framework for the evolution of a labeled undirected graph based molecular reaction semantics.


The secret ingredient to life on Earth: A THICKENER may have kick-started the evolution of living creatures

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Life began in a pond or ocean, according to the Primordial Soup Theory. The theory suggests that life was the result of the mixing of a number of ingredients – rain, a jumble of common molecules, warm sunshine, and night-time cooling. Now experts believe the recipe also relied upon a'thickener' to help gene-like strands copy themselves in puddles for the first time. The earliest form of life is thought to have been based on RNA – a nucleic acid present in all living cells. The graphic above shows how RNA differs from DNA.


Organic material discovered in star-forming region away could be among the building blocks of life

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists observing a young sun-like star 450 light-years away have spotted a molecule that may have played a key role in the emergence of life on Earth. It's the first time researchers have detected the molecule glycolonitrile, which existed before life itself, in this type of protostar. The discovery could put us closer to understanding how the solar system and life on Earth formed long ago. The new research led by Queen Mary University of London focused on a solar-type protostar called IRAS16293-2422 B (circled) in search of such materials. Glycolonitrile is said to be a precursors to the formation of adenine, which is fundamental in both DNA and RNA.


Origin-of-Life Study Points to Chemical Chimeras, Not RNA Quanta Magazine

#artificialintelligence

Scientists studying how life arose from the primordial soup have been too eager to clean up the clutter. Four billion years ago, the prebiotic Earth was a messy place, a chaotic mélange of diverse starting materials. Even so, certain key molecules still somehow managed to emerge from that chemical mayhem -- RNA, DNA and proteins among them. But in the quest to understand how that happened, according to Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in California, researchers have been so myopic in their focus on reactions that generate molecules relevant to the planet's current inhabitants that they've overlooked other possibilities. "They are trying to impose biology today on prebiotic chemistry," he said.