Biochemical Society Transactions

Thermophiles 2003

The hyperthermophilic origin of life revisited

D.W. Schwartzman, C.H. Lineweaver


We revisit the case for the hyperthermophilic scenario for the origin of life and the last common ancestor. Evidence includes studies of phylogenetic trees, rRNA, G and C content, hyperthermophilic proteins, correlations between maximal temperature tolerances and genetic distances, saline stabilization of DNA/RNA, and the inferred climatic temperatures of the early Earth. Although some doubts remain, the case for hot biogenesis and the last common ancestor has gotten stronger.

  • biogenesis
  • hyperthermophile
  • last common ancestor (LCA)
  • reverse gyrase


  • Thermophiles 2003, a held at University of Exeter, 15–19 September 2003

  • Abbreviation used: LCA, last common ancestor.