Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (prōt′n-oid′, prō′tē-noid′)
A proteinlike polypeptide formed abiotically from amino acid mixtures in the presence of heat, thought to resemble early evolutionary forms of protein.
References in periodicals archive ?
In this context we can note Ehrensvard's (1960) concept of a 'living pond' as a first stage in the origin of life, together with Depew and Weber's (1995) view of the organism as a 'superecosystem', along with Sidney Fox's (1988) demonstrations that artificial proteinoid microspheres can carry out most of the coarser behaviors of cells (like cell division), making these processes generic at a certain scale--these coupled to Cairns-Smith's (1982) idea of the 'genetic takeover' of an abiotic system of microscopic informational template inheritance.
The proteinoid schema for the emergence of autocatalysis shown in Figure 1 is incomplete, because emergence requires a mechanism for information accrual: protein evolution had to be coupled with nucleic acid evolution.
Since that time, amino acids seem to be on the forefront of prebiotic molecule research, which includes the study of DNA, RNA, proteinoids (Sidney Fox), ribozymes (Thomas Cech & Sidney Airman), and pre-RNA molecules such as peptide nucleic acid (Peter E.