Peptide Nucleic Acids and the Origin of Life



The possibilities of pseudo-peptide-DNA mimics like PNA (peptide nucleic acid) having a role for the prebiotic origin of life prior to an RNA world is discussed on the basis of literature data showing that this type of molecules might have formed on the primitive earth (or other places in the universe), as well as data indicating the possibilities of template-directed PNA chemical replication and ligation. In particular, the merits of an achiral prebiotic genetic material is discussed.