Evolution Finds Shelter in Small Spaces
When RNA is replicated in cell-free systems, a ubiquitous problem is the hijacking of the system by short parasitic RNA sequences. In this issue of Chemistry & Biology, Bansho et al. show that compartmentalization into water-in-oil droplets can ameliorate this problem, but only if the droplets are small. This result helps to both recapitulate abiogenesis and optimize synthetic biology.