Mathematical Modeling of the Origins of Life
- Pohorille, Andrew
- January 2006.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The emergence of early metabolism - a network of catalyzed chemical reactions that supported self-maintenance, growth, reproduction and evolution of the ancestors of contemporary cells (protocells) was a critical, but still very poorly understood step on the path from inanimate to animate matter. Here, it is proposed and tested through mathematical modeling of biochemically plausible systems that the emergence of metabolism and its initial evolution towards higher complexity preceded the emergence of a genome. Even though the formation of protocellular metabolism was driven by non-genomic, highly stochastic processes the outcome was largely deterministic, strongly constrained by laws of chemistry. It is shown that such concepts as speciation and fitness to the environment, developed in the context of genomic evolution, also held in the absence of a genome.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20060022562.
- No Copyright.
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