How were the first building blocks of life formed from the primordial soup? While answers to such questions may not directly lead to the development of new drugs, sometimes we have an intrinsic need to seek knowledge for its own sake. Sometimes, it’s just pure curiosity: what exactly has Mother Nature been up to for the past few billion years? How did She solve the problems that allow you to exist, to be conscious, to understand this text?

This article summarizes research carried out by scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, who are on a quest to discover the structure and composition of the first ribosome – the organelle in our cells that converts RNA into the proteins necessary for cellular function. It is an excellent article describing the scientific process.