The World According to RNA; January 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Horgan; 2 Page(s)
In 1981 Francis Crick commented that "the origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to be satis fied to get it going." Now, several findings have rendered life's conception somewhat less implausible. The results all bolster what is already the dominant theory of genesis: the RNA world.
The theory helped to solve what was once a classic chicken-or-egg problem. Which came first, proteins or DNA? Proteins are made according to instructions in DNA, but DNA cannot replicate itself or make proteins without the help of catalytic proteins called enzymes. In 1983 researchers found the solution to this conundrum in RNA, a single-strand molecule that helps DNA make protein.