Amino Acids and Enzymes

14 Jul 2019

At ... peptides, which are a chain of amino acids, are an essential element of all life on Earth. They form the fabric of proteins which serve as a catalyst for biological processes. However, it is thought they require enzymes to control their formation from amino acids. This is described as a chicken and egg problem - how did the original enzymes come into being. A UCL study has found that precursors to amino acids, known as aminonitriles, can be easily turned into peptides in water - and this can allow life to begin.

Interestingly, at the recent EU UK meeting in Bath University (July 2019) we had a video on the Safire project in which the molecules of life formed out of plasma (electrified gas) in a spontaneous manner. Is this a game changer?