Molecular Evolution and Protobiology

  • Koichiro Matsuno
  • Klaus Dose
  • Kaoru Harada
  • Duane L. Rohlfing

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Molecular Evolution and Protobiology: An Overview

  3. Historical and Personal Reviews

  4. Prebiotic Molecules

  5. Protocells

  6. The Origin of the Genetic Code and Protein Synthesis

  7. Theoretical Synthesis

    1. Otto E. Rössler
      Pages 375-385
    2. Thomas O. Fox
      Pages 387-396
    3. Ronald F. Fox
      Pages 413-420
    4. Robert Rosen
      Pages 421-431
    5. Koichiro Matsuno
      Pages 433-464
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 465-470

About this book


In recent years, an ever-increasing amount of research has been conducted on the physico-chemical basis of the origin and evolution of life, or protobiology. Many questions are raised in this endeavor: What research methodology should be employed? What sort of dependable facts are available as a firm frame of reference upon which the physico-chemical origin of life or protolife could be examined? Is the origin due exclusively to chance events? If not, what is then responsible for the origin? What physical reality underlies the evolutionarily selective process leading to the origin? What role does variation assume and how is it generated in the course of evolution? Many research workers have pursued various avenues toward answering the stated questions. Among them, we believe Sidney W. Fox has been playing a very unique and pivotal role over the past quarter of a century, presiding over 240 man-years or more of labo­ ratory work. His laboratory syntheses of thermal proteins called proteinoids and proteinoid micro spheres have emphasized the prin­ ciple of the self-sequencing of amino acids as a key concept of protobiological synthesis. The significance of his contribution is seen in presenting the experimental evidence that the origin of life is largely due to nonrandom events. This discovery marks a new epoch in the conceptual development of studying the origin of life by focusing on the molecular processes that underlied the emergence and evolution of protobiological information.


amino acid biology development evolution molecular evolution proteinoids the origin

Editors and affiliations

  • Koichiro Matsuno
    • 1
  • Klaus Dose
    • 2
  • Kaoru Harada
    • 3
  • Duane L. Rohlfing
    • 4
  1. 1.Technological University of NagaokaNagaokaJapan
  2. 2.J. Gutenberg UniversityMainzFederal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.University of TsukubaIbarakiJapan
  4. 4.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors