Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Two Dogmas for the Emergence of Biological Systems: Cell Theory and Self-Replication

Version 1 : Received: 29 May 2018 / Approved: 30 May 2018 / Online: 30 May 2018 (09:33:22 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Prosdocimi F, Jheeta S, Farias ST (2018) Conceptual challenges for the emergence of the biological system: Cell theory and self-replication. Medical Hypothesis, 119, 79-83. Prosdocimi F, Jheeta S, Farias ST (2018) Conceptual challenges for the emergence of the biological system: Cell theory and self-replication. Medical Hypothesis, 119, 79-83.

Journal reference: Medical Hypothesis 2018, 119, 79-83
DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2018.07.029

Abstract

A dogma is normally considered as a principle or a belief accepted as an indisputable truth by some individuals and/or groups. Theoretically there can be no dogmas in science, but it has been demonstrated that scientific thought operates by conceptual changes. A dogma therefore can be understood as a concept present at the heart of some contemporary research programmes that need to be altered to overcome paradigms. Here we argue that two ideas relating to emergence of the biological system research need to be re-evaluated. First, is the idea that research programmes about the emergence of the biological system are the same as those of the origin of cells. Cells are strikingly important biological entities, hard core concepts for the entire field of biology. The emergence of the biological system happened much earlier than the origin of cells and thus the First Universal Common Ancestor (FUCA) should be viewed as a great-grandfather to the Last Universal Cellular Ancestor (LUCA); i.e. the latter is the first cellular life form. Second, RNA-world theories are the focus of mainstream research programmes for the origin of life stricto sensu. In the RNA-world view, self-replication of nucleic acids is seen as one of the most relevant events in the pre-biotic world. Without denying the relevance of self-replication, we argue here that the most germane event which occurred in the pre-biotic world was the crosstalk between nucleic acids and peptides. When these two macromolecules started to interact, the singularity that aggregated the complexity required to produce life emerged. Thus, comprehension of the early origins of the translation machinery and the assembly of the genetic code is key. Therefore, the relevance of cell theory and self-replication should be re-evaluated as well as the concept of life itself.

Subject Areas

cells; LUCA; RNA world; PTC; bacteria; Archaea; translation system

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