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Ribozymes are enzymes made of RNA. Their existence has been discovered by Tom Cech[?] group of workers in the 1980s.

The existence of ribozymes broke a commonplace of biological science, that is, only protein molecules should be able to perform chemical modifications and works in the cell. In reality, although proteins are much more chemically complex and ductile than nucleic acids, there is no real scientific reason to think that the latter cannot catalyze chemical reactions.

Although ribozymes are quite rare in the cell, their function is sometimes dramatically fundamental to life. For example, the functional part of the ribosome, the molecular machine that translates RNA into proteins, is fundamentally a ribozyme.

Ribozymes are considered to have been the first molecular machines even used by life by the so-called RNA world[?] hypothesis on the origin of life. Today's remaining ribozymes, like the ribosome machinery, can be considered like living fossils[?] of a life based on nucleic acids mainly.

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