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Entropy 2011, 13(1), 17-37; doi:10.3390/e13010017
Article

Complexity through Recombination: From Chemistry to Biology

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Received: 4 November 2010 / Revised: 14 December 2010 / Accepted: 20 December 2010 / Published: 24 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergence in Chemical Systems)
Download PDF [302 KB, 24 February 2015; original version 24 February 2015]

Abstract

Recombination is a common event in nature, with examples in physics, chemistry, and biology. This process is characterized by the spontaneous reorganization of structural units to form new entities. Upon reorganization, the complexity of the overall system can change. In particular the components of the system can now experience a new response to externally applied selection criteria, such that the evolutionary trajectory of the system is altered. In this work we explore the link between chemical and biological forms of recombination. We estimate how the net system complexity changes, through analysis of RNA-RNA recombination and by mathematical modeling. Our results underscore the importance of recombination in the origins of life on the Earth and its subsequent evolutionary divergence.
Keywords: recombination; transesterification; RNA; mutational robustness; genotypic landscape; naked genes recombination; transesterification; RNA; mutational robustness; genotypic landscape; naked genes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lehman, N.; Arenas, C.D.; White, W.A.; Schmidt, F.J. Complexity through Recombination: From Chemistry to Biology. Entropy 2011, 13, 17-37.

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