Life As We Know It Nearly Created in Lab

One of life’s greatest mysteries is how it began. Scientists have pinned it down to roughly this: Some chemical reactions occurred about 4 billion years ago — perhaps in a primordial tidal soup or maybe with help of volcanoes or possibly at the bottom of the sea or between the mica sheets — to create biology. Now scientists have created something in the lab that is tantalizingly close to what might have happened. It’s not life, they stress, but it certainly gives the science community a whole new data set to chew on. The researchers, at the Scripps Research Institute, created molecules that self-replicate and even evolve and compete to win or lose. If that sounds exactly like life, read on to learn the controversial and thin distinction

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