Nature Communications | Comment | open
Early Earth Collection
Origin-of-life research strives to answer the questions how and under which circumstances the first replicating life forms emerged. Exploring billions of years in the past means that scientists rely heavily on extrapolation and assumptions to create a plausible scenario that could represent the environment on early Earth. To this end, disciplines ranging from astrobiology and geoscience to organic chemistry have to come together to contribute to the bigger picture.
To honour the difficulties of prebiotic research and to contribute to the exchange of ideas across scientific disciplines, we assembled this collection. The Experimental Conditions tab contains commissioned opinion pieces (comments) on the question: What settings are plausible when investigating the origin of life, precisely, when investigating the origin of genetic material (DNA/RNA)? The other three tabs contain research articles on early Earth conditions, the origin of nucleotides and nucleosides, and the early days of biochemistry (Early Cells) published in Nature Communications.