Autocatalytic Sets Arising in a Combinatorial Model of Chemical Evolution.
The idea that chemical evolution led to the origin of life is not new, but still leaves open the question of how exactly it could have led to a coherent and self-reproducing collective of molecules. One possible answer to this question was proposed in the form of the emergence of an autocatalytic set: a collection of molecules that mutually catalyze each other's formation and that is self-sustaining given some basic "food" source. Building on previous work, here we investigate in more detail when and how autocatalytic sets can arise in a simple model of chemical evolution based on the idea of combinatorial innovation with random catalysis assignments. We derive theoretical results, and compare them with computer simulations. These results could suggest a possible step towards the (or an) origin of life.
Institute for Systems Biology
Hordijk, Wim; Steel, Mike; and Kauffman, Stuart, "Autocatalytic Sets Arising in a Combinatorial Model of Chemical Evolution." (2022). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 6710.