Origins of life: New model may explain emergence of self-replication on early Earth

One question of the origin of life in particular remains problematic: what enabled the leap from a primordial soup of individual monomers to self-replicating polymer chains? A new model proposes a potential mechanism by which self-replication could have emerged. It posits that template-assisted ligation, the joining of two polymers by using a third, longer one as a template, could have enabled polymers to become self-replicating.