Learn More
To address central problems in the origin of life such as the formation of linear polymers composed of only a small number of types of molecules, we have modeled the distribution of peptides in lipid monolayers. We show that short peptides and amino acids accumulate at the boundary between lipid domains, and that the concentration towards the boundary is(More)
We hypothesize that life began not with the first self-reproducing molecule or metabolic network, but as a prebiotic ecology of co-evolving populations of macromolecular aggregates (composomes). Each composome species had a particular molecular composition resulting from molecular complementarity among environmentally available prebiotic compounds. Natural(More)
To develop a comprehensive 'cells-first' approach to the origin of life, we propose that protocells form spontaneously and that the fission and fusion of these protocells drives the dynamics of their evolution. The fitness criterion for this evolution is taken to be the the stability (conservation) of domains in the protocellular membrane as determined by(More)
Hyperstructures or modules have been proposed to constitute a level of organisation intermediate between macromolecules and whole cells. In this model of intracellular organisation, hyperstructures compete and collaborate for existence within the membrane and cytoplasm. Those directly involved in the cell cycle include initiation, replication and division(More)
Five common assumptions about the first cells are challenged by the pre-biotic ecology model and are replaced by the following propositions: firstly, early cells were more complex, more varied and had a greater diversity of constituents than modern cells; secondly, the complexity of a cell is not related to the number of genes it contains, indeed, modern(More)
The living cell is an autocatalytic network of metabolic pathways sustained far from equilibrium by the supply of matter and energy. At the abstract level we can regard a chart of cellular metabolic pathways as a network of undirected connexions between metabolites (the nodes of the network) each connected pair being related by an enzyme-catalyzed reaction.(More)
We show how a network of interconnections between nodes can be constructed to have a specified distribution of nodal degrees. This is achieved by treating the network as a thermodynamic system subject to constraints and then rewiring the system to maintain the constraints while increasing the entropy. The general construction is given and illustrated by the(More)
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We(More)
New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We(More)