In a recent paper, collaborators Andrew Griffiths and Niles Lehman and colleagues present new results on constructing and studying experimental autocatalytic sets consisting of ribozymes (catalytic RNA molecules). What is new in these results is that, unlike previous experimental systems, sequences of several reaction steps are required to produce the catalysts from the food set. This opens up exciting new possibilities for experimentally constructing more complex and biologically more realistic autocatalytic sets.
S. Arsène, S. Ameta, N. Lehman, A. D. Griffiths and P. Nghe. Coupled catabolism and anabolism in autocatalytic RNA sets. Nucleic Acids Research (in press), 2018.