|Figure 1. A schematic representation of the RNA World (redrawn from Hirao and Ellington 1995), with time flowing from the top (earliest) to bottom (latest). The "progenote" is the last common ancestor of modern living things. In this schema, "cellularization" may be seen as marking the origin of life as self-replicating RNA molecules might otherwise have diffused into non-reproducing populations.|
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