Article ID: CBB691036547

On a Quest of Reverse Translation (2017)


Explaining the emergence of life is perhaps central and the most challenging question in modern science. Within this area of research, the emergence and evolution of the genetic code is supposed to be a critical transition in the evolution of modern organisms. The canonical genetic code is one of the most dominant aspects of life on this planet, and thus studying its origin is critical to understanding the evolution of life, including life’s emergence. In this sense it is possible to view the ribosome as a digital-to-analogue information converter. Why the translation apparatus evolved, is one of the enduring mysteries of molecular biology. Assuming the hypothesis that during the emergence of life evolution had to first involve autocatalytic systems, which only subsequently acquired the capacity of genetic heredity, in the present article we discuss some aspects and causes of the possible emergence of digital, discrete information arising from analogue information realized in the intra- and inter-molecular interactions throughout molecular evolution. How such reverse translation was achieved at a molecular level is still unclear. The results of such debates and investigations might shift current biological paradigms and might also have a momentous significance for modern philosophy in understanding our place in the universe.

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Authors & Contributors
Hirai, Hiro
Sterelny, Kim
Stotz, Karola
Morange, Michel
Nordlund, Christer
Wenkel, Simone
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Revue des Questions Scientifiques
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
World Scientific
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Duke University Press
Cambridge University Press
Routledge India
Molecular biology
Philosophy of science
Biogenesis; origin of life; spontaneous generation
Kircher, Athanasius
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Crick, Francis
Berman, Louis
Delbrück, Max
Husserl, Edmund
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
17th century
16th century
Universität zu Köln. Institut für Genetik
Ghent University

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