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Issue 16, 2012
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Theory, modelling and simulation in origins of life studies

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Origins of life studies represent an exciting and highly multidisciplinary research field. In this review we focus on the contributions made by theory, modelling and simulation to addressing fundamental issues in the domain and the advances these approaches have helped to make in the field. Theoretical approaches will continue to make a major impact at the “systems chemistry” level based on the analysis of the remarkable properties of nonlinear catalytic chemical reaction networks, which arise due to the auto-catalytic and cross-catalytic nature of so many of the putative processes associated with self-replication and self-reproduction. In this way, we describe inter alia nonlinear kinetic models of RNA replication within a primordial Darwinian soup, the origins of homochirality and homochiral polymerization. We then discuss state-of-the-art computationally-based molecular modelling techniques that are currently being deployed to investigate various scenarios relevant to the origins of life.

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Article information

19 Jan 2012
First published
07 Jun 2012

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 5430-5446
Article type
Tutorial Review

Theory, modelling and simulation in origins of life studies

P. V. Coveney, J. B. Swadling, J. A. D. Wattis and H. C. Greenwell, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 5430
DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35018A

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