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Open Prebiotic Environments Drive Emergent Phenomena and Complex Behavior

Department of Chemistry, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel
Department of Molecular Evolution, Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Ctra Ajalvir Km. 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 02167, USA
Present address: Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 26 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling Life-Like Behavior in Systems Chemistry)
PDF [3897 KB, uploaded 3 June 2019]


We have been studying simple prebiotic catalytic replicating networks as prototypes for modeling replication, complexification and Systems Chemistry. While living systems are always open and function far from equilibrium, these prebiotic networks may be open or closed, dynamic or static, divergent or convergent to a steady state. In this paper we review the properties of these simple replicating networks, and show, via four working models, how even though closed systems exhibit a wide range of emergent phenomena, many of the more interesting phenomena leading to complexification and emergence indeed require open systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: systems chemistry; catalytic networks; prebiotic replicators; complexification; emergence systems chemistry; catalytic networks; prebiotic replicators; complexification; emergence

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Wagner, N.; Hochberg, D.; Peacock-Lopez, E.; Maity, I.; Ashkenasy, G. Open Prebiotic Environments Drive Emergent Phenomena and Complex Behavior. Life 2019, 9, 45.

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