Biochemistry: Re-Creating the Pre-Life Earth

Adenine is an undistinguished-looking chemical with a molecule made of two ordinary carbon-nitrogen rings. But to biochemists, it is one of the keys of life. It takes part in the formation of a long list of vital substances, and it is one of the five "bases" that are built into DNA and RNA, the magic nucleic acids that control the reproduction and heredity of all living organisms. Since the first life probably appeared on earth when chemicals already dissolved in sea water formed a giant molecule that had the power to reproduce...

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