Paradoxes of Early Stages of Evolution of Life and Biological Complexity

  • Alexey V. Melkikh


Two of the most fundamental questions concerning the origin of life, how biologically important molecules (RNA, proteins) find their unique spatial configuration, and how coding sequences can evolve beyond a certain critical length, are discussed. It is shown that both of these problems have not been solved. Experiments that could clarify the mechanisms of interaction between biologically important molecules in the simplest cells are discussed.


Spatial configurations of replicators Coding Early stages of evolution Conformational degrees of freedom 


  1. Bailey JA, Eichler EE (2006) Primate segmental duplications: crucibles of evolution, diversity, and disease. Nat Rev Genet 7:552–564PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belloche A, Garrod RT, Muller HSP, Menten KM (2014) Detection of a branched alkyl molecule in the interstellar medium: iso-propyl cyanide. Science 345(6204):1584–1587PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ben-Naim A (2012) Levinthal’s question revisited, and answered. J Biomol Struct Dyn 30(1):113–124PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berezovsky IN, Trifonov EN (2002) Loop fold structure of proteins: resolution of Levinthal’s paradox. J Biomol Struct Dyn 20(1):5–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Callahan MP, Smith KE, Cleaves HJ II, Ruzicka J, Stern JC, Glavin DP, House CH, Dworkin JP (2011) Carbonaceous meteorites contain a wide range of extraterrestrial nucleobases. PNAS 108(34):13995–13998PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Finkelstein AV, Ptitsyn OB (2002) Protein physics. Academic, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. Grosberg AY, Khokhlov AR (2010) Giant molecules: here, there, and everywhere, 2nd edn. World Scientific Publishing Company, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gruebelle M (2010) Weighing up protein folding. Nature 468:640–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Long M, Betran E, Thornton K, Wang W (2003) The origin of new genes: glimpses from the young and old. Nat Rev Genet 4:865–875PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lua RC, Marciano DC, Katsonis P, Adikesavan AK, Wilkins AD, Lichtarge O (2014) Prediction and redesign of protein-protein interactions. Prog Biophys Mol Biol 116(2–3):194–202PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mao W (2003) Modern cryptography: theory and practice. Prentice Hall, Professional Technical Reference, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  12. Melkikh AV (2013) Biological complexity, quantum coherent states and the problem of efficient transmission of information inside a cell. BioSystems 111:190–198PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Melkikh AV (2014a) Quantum information and the problem of mechanisms of biological evolution. BioSystems 115:33–45PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Melkikh AV (2014b) Congenital programs of the behavior and nontrivial quantum effects in the neurons work. BioSystems 119:10–19PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Miller SL (1953) Production of amino acids under possible primitive earth conditions. Science 117(3046):528–529PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Onuchic JN, Luthey-Schulten Z, Wolynes PG (1997) Theory of protein folding: the energy landscape perspective. Annu Rev Phys Chem 48:545–600PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pizzarello S, Schrader DL, Monroe AA, Lauretta DS (2012) Large enantiomeric excesses in primitive meteorites and the diverse effects of water in cosmochemical evolution. PNAS 109(30):11949–11954PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. von Neumann J, Burks AW (1966) Theory of self-reproducting automata. University of Illinois Press, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  19. Zwanzig R, Szabo A, Bagchi B (1992) Levinthal’s paradox. PNAS 89:20–22PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ural Federal UniversityYekaterinburgRussia

Personalised recommendations