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Simulation studies of RAFs and CAFs Motivation and Background



The origin of life (OoL) on earth is still in search of a satisfactory explanation. The field is dominated by many facets and partial explanations. Facets include frequency of planetary systems, climatology of early earth, chirality in naturally occurring compounds, abiotic production of molecules, etc. Partial explanations include the naturally occurring self-reproducing molecules, quasispecies and hypercycles, an RNA world, natural formation of micelles, etc. However, most of these explanations are incomplete or based on speculation. Many other fields in the biosciences have benefited from the introduction of formal models, which forced researchers to be explicit about assumptions made, and allowed mathematical reasoning to be applied and computational experiments to be performed. Such models have been introduced in the context of the OoL, but research in them has not been very dominant so far. However, as OoL research gains pace, they will be given more attention. Examples of formal models related to OoL are Conway, von Neumann (1967), Ganti (1997), Kauffman (1986), and Steel (2000). For formal models to be useful they should capture some essence of the empirical problem and as time passes they should be forced towards increasingly realistic descriptions of the phenomena. The formalisation of catalytic reaction systems by Steel (2000), based on an initial idea by Kauffman, consists of a set of molecule types; a set of reactions where each reaction converts one set of molecules (reactants) into another set (products); a set of catalysations: molecules that accelerate a reaction (or set of reactions); a food set: a small set of molecules assumed to be freely available and constantly replenished

Year: 2014
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