How Did Evolution Begin?

( -- Life's ability to replicate itself is essential for evolution, yet even the simplest kind of replication requires a relatively complex system. So what kind of non-replicating system might have served as the ...

Life's origins in need of metals

Scientists have proposed a new potential catalyst for jump-starting metabolism, and life itself, on the early Earth. Transition metals like iron, copper and nickel along with small organic molecules could have catalyzed the ...

Microspiders: Polymerization reaction drives micromotors

( -- Though it seems like science fiction, microscopic "factories" in which nanomachines produce tiny structures for miniaturized components or nanorobots that destroy tumor cells within the body and scrape blockages ...

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A monomer (from Greek mono "one" and meros "part") is an atom or a small molecule that may bind chemically to other monomers to form a polymer; the term "monomeric protein" may also be used to describe one of the proteins making up a multiprotein complex. The most common natural monomer is glucose, which is linked by glycosidic bonds into polymers such as cellulose and starch, and is over 76% of the mass of all plant matter. Most often the term monomer refers to the organic molecules which form synthetic polymers, such as, for example, vinyl chloride, which is used to produce the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

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