Prebiotic Chemistry and Chemical Evolution of Nucleic Acids

  • César Menor-Salván

Part of the Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology book series (NUCLEIC, volume 35)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Steven A. Benner, Hyo-Joong Kim, Elisa Biondi
    Pages 31-83
  3. Brian J. Cafferty, David M. Fialho, Nicholas V. Hud
    Pages 143-174
  4. C. Denise Okafor, Jessica C. Bowman, Nicholas V. Hud, Jennifer B. Glass, Loren Dean Williams
    Pages 227-243
  5. Sara Imari Walker, Cole Mathis
    Pages 263-291

About this book


The origin of life is one of the biggest unsolved scientific questions. This book deals with the formation and first steps of the chemical evolution of nucleic acids, including the chemical roots behind the origin of their components from the simplest sources in a geochemical context. Chemical evolution encompasses the chemical processes and interactions conducive to self-assembly and supramolecular organization, leading to an increase of complexity and the emergence of life. 

The book starts with a personal account of the pioneering work of Stanley Miller and Jeffrey Bada on the Chemistry of Origins of Life and how the development of organic chemistry beginning in the 19th century led to the emergence of the field of prebiotic chemistry, situated at the frontier between organic, geo- and biochemistry. It then continues reviewing in tutorial manner current central topics regarding the organization of nucleic acids: the origin of nucleobases and nucleosides, their phosphorylation and polymerization and ultimately, their self-assembly and supramolecular organization at the inception of life.


Origina of life evolution RNA-world nucleotide synthesis chemistry of purines and pyrimidines phosphorylation

Editors and affiliations

  • César Menor-Salván
    • 1
  1. 1.NSF-NASA Center for Chemical EvolutionSchool of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA; Unidad de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Dept. Biologia de Sistemas, Universidad de AlcalaMadridSpain

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