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Symmetry 2010, 2(2), 767-798; doi:10.3390/sym2020767
Review

The Role of Stochastic Models in Interpreting the Origins of Biological Chirality

Received: 1 March 2010 / Revised: 29 March 2010 / Accepted: 6 April 2010 / Published: 12 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry of Life and Homochirality)
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Abstract

This review summarizes recent stochastic modeling efforts in the theoretical research aimed at interpreting the origins of biological chirality. Stochastic kinetic models, especially those based on the continuous time discrete state approach, have great potential in modeling absolute asymmetric reactions, experimental examples of which have been reported in the past decade. An overview of the relevant mathematical background is given and several examples are presented to show how the significant numerical problems characteristic of the use of stochastic models can be overcome by non-trivial, but elementary algebra. In these stochastic models, a particulate view of matter is used rather than the concentration-based view of traditional chemical kinetics using continuous functions to describe the properties system. This has the advantage of giving adequate description of single-molecule events, which were probably important in the origin of biological chirality. The presented models can interpret and predict the random distribution of enantiomeric excess among repetitive experiments, which is the most striking feature of absolute asymmetric reactions. It is argued that the use of the stochastic kinetic approach should be much more widespread in the relevant literature.
Keywords: absolute asymmetric synthesis; Soai reaction; stochastic kinetics; enantiomeric excess distributions; biological chirality; chiral fluctuations absolute asymmetric synthesis; Soai reaction; stochastic kinetics; enantiomeric excess distributions; biological chirality; chiral fluctuations
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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Lente, G. The Role of Stochastic Models in Interpreting the Origins of Biological Chirality. Symmetry 2010, 2, 767-798.

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