Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scouting for recent pubs on origin/evolution of the genetic code - suggestions wanted

A student in my Intro Bio class is interested in learning more about the origin and evolution of the genetic code. I am looking for some relatively recent papers to suggest to her. I have found the following:

Other suggestions wanted ...

A suggestion from Twitter


  1. Recent Evidence for Evolution of the Genetic Code - Osawa et al. - Mar. 1992 - Microbiological Reviews

  2. I like this one, offers some insight as to why an RNA world might benefit from amino acid biochemistry prior to the emergence of structured proteins and the fixation of the genetic code.

    Amino acid fermentation at the origin of the genetic code.
    Harold P de Vladar 2012

  3. My former colleague, Jeff Wong, published the coevolution theory of the origin of the genetic code back in 1976. Here's the latest version: Coevolution theory of the
    genetic code at age thirty

    This is by far the best explanation I've heard.

  4. I found this paper by Eugene Koonin and Yuri Wolf to be very thought provoking: "On the origin of the translation system and the genetic code in the RNA world by means of natural selection, exaptation, and subfunctionalization"


    It's more hypothesizing and thought experiments about what needed to and might have happened for the translation system to evolve. The main purpose is to give ideas of the direction that future experimentation may take.


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