Daten zum Projekt

Molecular Life

Initiative: "Leben?" - Ein neuer Blick der Naturwissenschaften auf die grundlegenden Prinzipien des Lebens
Bewilligung: 01.12.2016
Laufzeit: 5 Jahre


On a molecular level, life is an intricate network of interconnected reactions. It has been difficult to initiate such networks in the absence of enzymes, and it is unclear what it takes for a collection of molecules to make the transition from an inanimate system to a living organism. Recently, the research team found the first experimental system that undergoes enzyme-free genetic copying simultaneously with the formation of covalently linked peptides and cofactors from small molecules. The team will study how efficiently the biopolymer-forming reactions use their chemical energy. Further, it will be investigating how a structural interplay between peptide chains and RNA chains leads to stably folded structures. Finally, a search for reaction conditions that give membrane-forming amphiphiles and support encapsulation in vesicles will be performed. By monitoring the growth and self-organizing properties of simple biomolecules, the team will probe paths to the emergence of molecular life.


Open Access-Publikationen