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Driving forces in the origins of life.


What were the physico-chemical forces that drove the origins of life? We discuss four major prebiotic 'discoveries': persistent sampling of chemical reaction space; sequence-encodable foldable catalysts; assembly of functional pathways; and encapsulation and heritability. We describe how a 'proteins-first' world gives plausible mechanisms. We note the importance of hydrophobic and polar compositions of matter in these advances.

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