Emergence of life: from functional RNA selection to natural selection and beyond

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2014 Jun 1;19:1117-50. doi: 10.2741/4271.


This study tracks the rise, evolution and post-evolution of the genetic information system through emergence of life. The major stages traversed include prebiotic synthesis, functional RNA selection by metabolite, RNA World, peptidated RNA world, co-evolution of genetic code and amino acid biosynthesis, last universal common ancestor, Darwinian evolution and synthetic life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Code / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Origin of Life*
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA / genetics*
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA, Transfer / classification
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • Selection, Genetic*


  • RNA
  • RNA, Transfer