Re: Update --- have self-replicating molecules become life?
This also begs the question of when "life" develops -- I would say when evolution begins, and that looks like these molecules qualify.
I'm not sure this discovery is all that significant to OoL research. Sure, it's cool science and such, but this doesn't do much to show how biological life on Earth might have arose. I made note of this in another thread about a year ago, but there are plenty of self-replicating molecular systems out there -- like Belousov-Zhabotinsky reactions, porphyrin ring formation, imide amide formation, etc. -- which means that there are plenty of possible routes to some kinds of molecular evolution occurring throughout the universe. But this doesn't do much to address how genetic-code-based life emerged on early Earth.