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Paper: Non-sparse Sampling of the Genomic Phase-Space of a Proto-cell in the Young Earth
Volume: 420, Bioastronomy 2007: Molecules, Microbes and Extraterrestrial Life
Page: 287
Authors: Mullan, D. J.
Abstract: We estimate the numbers of reactions which occurred between certain molecules in liquid water during an interval of 200 My on the young Earth. We compare this with the size of genomic phase-space for a primitive cell whose genetic material consists of single-strand RNA. We find that the reactions which occurred in 200 My are sufficiently numerous to allow non-sparse sampling of a genome containing p ≈ 15 genes, provided the genetic code used doublet codons. We argue on general grounds that p ≥ 10 could give rise to a viable cell.
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