The RNA World: A Beginning with a Very Special Molecule?

  • Ulrich C. Schreiber
  • Christian Mayer


The RNA world is a term for one of the first steps in development toward life. It lies between the formation of the first organic molecules and the subsequent stage of life in which the DNA took on the function of the information store. The starting point for the discussion on an RNA world was the discovery that RNA can act as both an information store and a catalyst. Problems that arise in the laboratory owing to the double-strand formation of longer RNA molecules do not occur in the crust model because of the larger temperature fluctuations during geyser eruptions.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich C. Schreiber
    • 1
  • Christian Mayer
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty for BiologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty for ChemistryUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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