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Abiogenesis

It has nothing to do with evolution

I don't know how many times I have to repeat that evolution has nothing to do with abiogenesis, yet the strawman of "how did life start" always creeps up in every evolution debate... Abiogenesis is a very new and exciting field of study though.

Even though it is new, here is a list of 88 papers on the subject that should highlight that while we don't know all about it yet, we are making very serious strides. Compiled from here.

1 to 10:

 

A Combined Experimental And Theoretical Study On The Formation Of The Amino Acid Glycine And Its Isomer In Extraterrestrial Ices by Philip D. Holtom, Chris J. Bennett, Yoshihiro Osamura, Nigel J Mason and Ralf. I Kaiser, The Astrophysical Journal, 626: 940-952 (20th June 2005)

 

A Production Of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions by Stanley L. Miller, Science, 117: 528-529 (15th May 1953)

 

A Rigorous Attempt To Verify Interstellar Glycine by I. E. Snyder, F. J. Lovas, J. M. Hollis, D. N. Friedel, P. R. Jewell, A. Remijan, V. V. Ilyushin, E. A. Alekseev and S. F. Dyubko, The Astrophysical Journal, 619(2): 914-930 (1st February 2005) {Also available at arXiv.org>

 

A Self-Replicating Ligase Ribozyme by Natasha Paul & Gerald F. Joyce, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 99(20): 12733-12740 (1st October 2002)

 

A Self-Replicating System by T. Tjivuka, P. Ballester and J. Rebek Jr, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 112: 1249-1250 (1990)

 

Activated Acetic Acid By Carbon Fixation On (Fe,Ni)S Under Primordial Conditions by Claudia Huber and Günter Wächetershäuser, Science, 276: 245-247 (11th April 1997)

 

An Asymmetric Underlying Rule In The Assignment Of Codons: Possible Clue To A Quick Early Evolution Of The Genetic Code Via Successive Binary Choices by Marc Delarue, The RNA Journal, 13(2): 161-169 (12th December 2006)

 

Attempted Prebiotic Synthesis Of Pseudouridine by Jason P. Dworkin, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 27: 345-355 (1997)

 

Carbonyl Sulphide-Mediated Prebiotic Formation Of Peptides by Luke Leman, Leslie Orgel and M. Reza Ghadiri, Science, 306: 283-286 (8th October 2004)

 

Catalysis In Prebiotic Chemistry: Application To The Synthesis Of RNA Oligomers by James P. Ferris, Prakash C. Joshi, K-J Wang, S. Miyakawa and W. Huang, Advances in Space Research, 33: 100-105 (2004)

 

11-20:

 

Cations As Mediators Of The Adsorption Of Nucleic Acids On Clay Surfaces In Prebiotic Environments by Marco Franchi, James P. Ferris and Enzo Gallori, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 33: 1-16 (2003)

 

Chemistry for the Synthesis of Nucleobase-Modified Peptide Nucleic Acid by R. H. E. Hudson, R. D. Viirre, Y. H. Liu, F. Wojciechowski and A. K. Dambenieks, Pure Appl. Chem., 76(7-8) 1591-1598, 2004

 

Coevolution Of Compositional Protocells And Their Environment by Barak Shenhav, Aia Oz and Doron Lancet, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 362: 1813-1819 (9th May 2007)

 

Computational Models For The Formation Of Protocell Structures by Linglan Edwards, Yun Peng and James A. Reggia, Artificial Life, 4(1): 61-77 (1998)

 

Conditions For The Emergence Of Life On The Early Earth: Summary And Reflections by Joshua Jortner, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1877-1891 (11th September 2006)

 

Coupled Growth And Division Of Model Protocell Membranes by Ting F. Zhu and Jack W. Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131: 5705-5713 (2009)

 

Darwinian Evolution On A Chip by Brian M. Paegel and Gerald F. Joyce, Public Library of Science Biology, 6(4): e85 (April 2008)

 

Early Anaerobic Metabolisms by Don E Canfield, Minik T Rosing and Christian Bjerrum, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1819-1836 (11th September 2006)

 

Emergence Of A Replicating Species From An In Vitro RNA Evolution Reaction by Ronald R. Breaker and Gerald F. Joyce, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 91: 6093-6097 (June 1994)

 

Evolution And Self-Assembly Of Protocells by Ricard V. Solé, The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 41: 274-284 (2009)

 

21-30:

 

Evolution Of Amino Acid Frequencies In Proteins Over Deep Time: Inferred Order Of Introduction Of Amino Acids Into The Genetic Code by Dawn J. Brooks, Jacques R. Fresco, Arthur M. Lesk and Mona Singh, Molecular and Biological Evolution, 19(10): 1645-1655 (2002)

 

Formation Of Bimolecular Membranes From Lipid Monolayers And A Study Of Their Electrical Properties by M. Montal and P. Mueller, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 69(12): 3561-3566 (December 1972)

 

Formation Of Protocell-Like Structures From Glycine And Formaldehyde In A Modified Sea Medium by Hiroshi Yanagawa and Fujio Egami, Proceedings of the Japan Academy, 53: 42-45 (12th January 1977)

 

Formation Of Protocell-Like Vesicles In A Thermal Diffusion Column by Itay Budin, Raphael J. Bruckner and Jack W. Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131: 9628-9629 (2009)

 

Generic Darwinian Selection In Catalytic Protocell Assemblies by Andreea Munteanu, Camille Stephan-Otto Attolini, Steen Rasmussen, Hans Ziock and Ricard V. Solé, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 362: 1847-1855 (2007)

 

Homochiral Selection In The Montmorillonite-Catalysed And Uncatalysed Prebiotic Synthesis Of RNA by Prakash C. Joshi, Stefan Pitsch and James P. Ferris, Chemical Communications (Royal Society of Chemistry), 2497-2498 (2000)

 

Hyperthermophiles In The History Of Life by Karl O. Stetter, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1837-1843 (11th September 2006)

 

Implications Of A 3.472-3.333?GYr-Old Subaerial Microbal Mat From The Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa, For The UV Environmental Conditions Of The Early Earth by Frances Westall, Cornel E.J de Ronde, Gordon Southam, Nathalie Grassineau, Maggy Colas, Charles Cockell and Helmut Lammer, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1857-1876 (11th September 2006)

 

Information Transfer From Peptide Nucleic Acids To RNA By Template-Directed Syntheses by Jürgen G. Schmidt, Peter E. Nielsen and Leslie E. Orgel, Nucleic Acids Research, 25(23): 4794-4802 (1997)

 

Interstellar Glycine by Yi-Jehng Kuan, Steven B. Charnley, Hui-Chun Huang, Wei-Ling Tseng, and Zbigniew Kisiel, The Astrophysical Journal, 593: 848-867 (20th August 2003)

 

31-40:

 

Kin Selection And Virulence In The Evolution Of Protocells And Parasites by Steven A. Frank, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Part B, 258: 153-161 (1994)

 

Ligation Of The Hairpin Ribozyme In cis Induced By Freezing And Dehydration by Sergei A. Kazakov, Svetlana V. Balatskaya and Brian H. Johnston, The RNA Journal, 12: 446-456 (2006)

 

Lipid Bilayer Fibres From Diastereomeric And Enantiomeric N-Octylaldonamides by Jürgen-Hinrich Fuhrhop, Peter Schneider, Egbert Boekema and Wolfgang Helfrich, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 110: 2861-2867 (1988)

 

"Living" Under The Challenge Of Information Decay: The Stochastic Corrector Model Versus Hypercycles by Elias Zintzaras, Mauro Santos and Eörs Szathmáry, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 217: 167-181 (2002)

 

Mineral Catalysis And Prebiotic Synthesis: Montmorillonite-Catalysed Formation Of RNA by James P. Ferris, Elements, 1: 145-149 (June 2005)

 

Molecular Asymmetry In Extraterrestrial Chemistry: Insights From A Pristine Meteorite by Sandra Pizzarello, Yongsong Huang and Marcelo R. Alexandre, Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 105(10): 3700-3704 (11th March 2008)

 

Molecular Dynamics Simulation Of The Formation, Structure, And Dynamics Of Small Phospholipid Vesicles by Siewert J. Marrink and Alan E. Mark, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 125: 15233-15242 (2003)

 

Montmorillonite Catalysis Of 30-50 Mer Oligonucleotides: Laboratory Demonstration Of Potential Steps In The Origin Of The RNA World by James P. Ferris, Origins of Life and Evolution of the biosphere, 32: 311-332 (2002)

 

Montmorillonite Catalysis Of RNA Oligomer Formation In Aqueous Solution: A Model For The Prebiotic Formation Of RNA by James P. Ferris and Gözen Ertem, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 115: 12270-12275 (1993)

 

Nucelotide Synthetase Ribozymes May Have Emerged First In The RNA World by Wentao Ma, Chunwu Yu, Wentao Zhang and Jiming Hu, The RNA Journal, 13: 2012-2019, 18th September 2007

 

41-50:

 

Nutrient Uptake By Protocells: A Liposome Model System by Pierre-Alain Monnard and David W. Deamer, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 31: 147-155 (2001)

 

Organic Compounds In Carbonaceous Meteorites by Mark A. Sephton, Natural Products Reports (Royal Society of Chemistry), 19: 292-311 (2002)

 

Peptide Nucleic Acids Rather Than RNA May Have Been The First Genetic Molecule by Kevin E. Nelson, Matthew Levy and Stanley L. Miller, Proc. Natl, Acad. Sci. USA., 97(8): 3868-3871, 11th April 2000

 

Peptides By Activation Of Amino Acids With CO On (Ni,Fe)S Surfaces: Implications For The Origin Of Life by Claudia Huber and Günter Wächtershäuser, Science, 281: 670-672 (31st July 1998)

 

Phenotypic Diversity And Chaos In A Minimal Cell Model by Andreea Munteanu and Ricard V. Solé, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 240: 434-442 (2006)

 

Prebiotic Amino Acids As Asymmetric Catalysts by Sandra Pizzarello and Arthur L. Weber, Science, 303: 1151 (20 February 2004)

 

Prebiotic Chemistry And The Origin Of The RNA World by Leslie E. Orgel, Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 39: 99-123 (2004)

 

Prebiotic Materials From On And Off The Early Earth by Max Bernstein, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

 

Prebiotic Synthesis On Minerals: Bridging The Prebiotic And RNA Worlds by James P. Ferris, Biological Bulletin, 196: 311-314 (June 1999)

 

Racemic Amino Acids From The Ultraviolet Photolysis Of Interstellar Ice Analogues by Max P. Bernstein, Jason P. Dworkin, Scott A. Sandford, George W. Copoper and Louis J. Allamandola, Nature, 416: 401-403

 

51-60:

 

Replicating Vesicles As Models Of Primitive Cell Growth And Division by Martin M. Hanczyc and Jack W. Szostak, Current Opinion In Chemical Biology, 8: 660-664 (22nd October 2004)

 

Ribozymes: Building The RNA World by Gerald F. Joyce, Current Biology, 6(8): 965-967, 1996

 

RNA Catalysis In Model Protocell Vesicles by Irene A Chen, Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani and Jack W Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127: 13213-13219 (2005)

 

RNA-Catalysed Nucleotide Synthesis by Peter J. Unrau and David P. Bartel, Nature, 395: 260-263 (17th September 1998)

 

RNA-Catalyzed RNA Polymerization: Accurate and General RNA-Templated Primer Extension by Wendy K. Johnston, Peter J. Unrau, Michael S. Lawrence, Margaret E. Glasner and David P. Bartel, Science, 292: 1319-1325, 18th May 2001

 

RNA-Directed Amino Acid Homochirality by J. Martyn Bailey, FASEB Journal (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), 12: 503-507 (1998)

 

RNA Evolution And The Origin Of Life by Gerald F. Joyce, Nature, 338: 217-224 (16th March 1989)

 

Self Replicating Systems by Volker Patzke and Günter von Kiedrowski, ARKIVOC 5: 293-310, 2007

 

Self-Assembling Amphiphilic Molecules Synthesis In Simulated Interstellar/Precometary Ices by Jason P. Dworkin, David W. Deamer, Scott A. Sandford and Louis J. Allamandola, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 98(3): 815-819 (30th January 2001)

 

Self-Assembly Of Surfactant-Like Peptides With Variable Glycine Tails To Form Nanotubes And Nanovesicles by Steve Santoso, Wonmuk Hwang, Hyman Hartman and Shuguang Zhang, Nano Letters, 2(7): 687-691 (2002)

 

61-70:

 

Self-Assembly Processes In The Prebiotic Environment by David Deamer, Sara Singaram, Sudha Rajamani, Vladimir Kompanichenko and Stephen Guggenheim, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

 

Self-Organising Biochemical Cycles by Leslie E. Orgel, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 97(23): 12503-12507 (7th November 2000)

 

Self-Sustained Replication Of An RNA Enzyme by Tracey A. Lincoln and Gerald F. Joyce, ScienceExpress, DOI: 10.1126/science.1167856 (8th January 2009)

 

Sequence- And Regio-Selectivity In The Montmorillonite-Catalysed Synthesis Of RNA by Gözen Ertem and James P. Ferris, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 30: 411-422 (2000)

 

Simulation Of The Spontaneous Aggregation Of Phospholipids Into Bilayers by Siewert J. Marrink, Eric Lindahl, Olle Edholm and Alan E. Mark, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 123: 8638-8639 (2001)

 

Synchronisation Phenomena In Internal Reaction Models Of Protocells by Roberto Serra, Timoteo Carletti, Alessandro Filisetti and Irene Poli, Artificial life, 13: 123-128 (2007)

 

Synchronisation Phenomena In Protocell Models by Alessandro Filisetti, Roberto Serra, Timoteo Carletti, Irene Poli and Marco Villani, Biophysical Reviews and Letters, 3(1-2): 325-342 (2008)

 

Synthesis Of 35-40 Mers Of RNA Oligomers From Unblocked Monomers. A Simple Approach To The RNA World by Wenhua Huang and James P. Ferris, Chemical Communications of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 1458-1459 (2003)

 

Synthesis Of Long Prebiotic Oligomers On Mineral Surfaces by James P. Ferris, Aubrey R. Hill Jr, Rihe Liu and Leslie E. Orgel, Nature, 381: 59-61 (2nd May 1996)

 

Synthesising Life by Jack W. Szostak, David P. Bartel and P. Luigi Luisi, Nature, 409: 387-390 (18th January 2001)

 

71-80:

 

Synthetic Protocell Biology: From Reproduction To Computation by Ricard V. Solé, Andreea Munteanu, Carlos Rodriguez-Caso and Javier Macia, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 362: 1727-1739 (October 2007)

 

Template-Directed Synthesis Of A Genetic Polymer In A Model Protocell by Sheref S. Mansy, Jason P. Schrum, Mathangi Krisnamurthy, Sylvia Tobé, Douglas A. Treco and Jack W. Szostak, Nature, 454: 122-125 (4th June 2008)

 

The Antiquity Of RNA-Based Evolution by Gerald F. Joyce, Nature, 418: 214-221, 11th July 2002

 

The Case For An Ancestral Genetic System Involving Simple Analogues Of The Nucleotides by Gerald F. Joyce, Alan W. Schwartz, Stanley L. Miller and Leslie E. Orgel, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 84: 4398-4402 (July 1987)

 

The Descent of Polymerisation by Matthew Levy and Andrew D. Ellington, Nature Structural Biology, 8(7): 580-582, July 2001

 

The Emergence Of Competition Between Model Protocells by Irene A Chen, Richard W. Roberts and Jack W. Szostak, Science, 305:1474-1476 (3rd September 2004)

 

The Generality Of DNA-Templated Synthesis As A Basis For Evolving Non-Natural Small Molecules by Zev J. Gartner and David R. Liu, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 123: 6961-6963 (2001)

 

The Lifetimes Of Nitriles (CN) And Acids (COOH) During Ultraviolet Photolysis And Their Survival In Space by Max P. Bernstein, Samantha F. M. Ashbourne, Scott A. Sandford and Louis J. Allamandola, The Astrophysical Journal, 601: 3650270 (20th January 2004)

 

The Lipid World by Daniel Segré, Dafna Ben-Eli, David W. Deamer and Doron Lancet, Origins of Life And Evolution of the Biosphere, 31: 119-145, 2001

 

The Miller Volcanic Spark Discharge Experiment by Adam P. Johnson, H. James Cleaves., Jason D. Dworkin, Daniel P. Glavin, Antonio Lazcano and Jeffrey L. Bada, Science, 322: 404 (17th October 2008)

 

81-90 (ending at 88):

 

The Origin And Early Evolution Of Life: Prebiotic Chemistry, The Pre-RNA World, And Time by Antonio Laczano and Stanley R. Miller, Cell, 85: 793-798 (14th June 1996)

 

The Origin Of Replicators And Reproducers by Eörs Szathmáry, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

 

The Prebiotic Molecules Observed In The Interstellar Gas by P. Thaddeus, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (7th September 2006)

 

The Roads To And From The RNA World by Jason P. Dworkin, Antonio Lazcano and Stanley L. Miller, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 222: 127-134 (2003)

 

Thermostability Of Model Protocell Membranes by Sheref S. Mansy and Jack W. Szostak, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 105(36): 13351-13355 (9th September 2008)

 

Toward Synthesis Of A Minimal Cell by Anthony C. Forster and George M. Church, Molecular Systems Biology (2006) doi:10.1038/msb4100090

 

Transcription And Translation In An RNA World by William R. Taylor, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

 

Two Step Potentially Prebiotic Synthesis Of 945-D-Cystidine-5'-Phosphate From D-Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate by Carole Anastasi, Michael A. Crowe and John D. Sutherland, Journal of the American Chemical Society (Communications), 129: 24-24 (2007)

 

As I said, the discussion on abiogenesis generally starts out in a discussion of evolution, and sometimes I just can't understand the rigid denial of actual concrete evidence, combined with horribly flawed logic that some of these nutters employ (not to mention the out and out lies). You can point to the mountain of evidence for evolution all you want. It's just that the creationists and IDiots will proclaim, "Hah! It's not a mountain, it's half an inch under being a mountain. Nice try. Now, see, my mountain is tall enough to be a mountain."
"But, that's just a tent. Look at the gauze-like fabric and the plastic structure holding it up. You have a tent, and a flimsy one at that."
"At least it's as tall as mountain."

Which, if you think about it, is pretty much the way the conversation always turns out.

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