First life: The search for the first replicator: Sutherland was being deliberately messy by including the phosphate from the start, but it gave the best results. That's encouraging: the primordial Earth was a messy place and it may have been ideal for making nucleotides. Sutherland now suspects there is a "Goldilocks chemistry" - not too simple, not too complex - that would produce many key compounds from the same melting pot.
"Sutherland had a real breakthrough," Holliger says. "Everyone else was barking up the wrong tree."