# Statistical physics of self-replication.

@article{England2013StatisticalPO, title={Statistical physics of self-replication.}, author={Jeremy L. England}, journal={The Journal of chemical physics}, year={2013}, volume={139 12}, pages={ 121923 } }

Self-replication is a capacity common to every species of living thing, and simple physical intuition dictates that such a process must invariably be fueled by the production of entropy. Here, we undertake to make this intuition rigorous and quantitative by deriving a lower bound for the amount of heat that is produced during a process of self-replication in a system coupled to a thermal bath. We find that the minimum value for the physically allowed rate of heat production is determined by the…

## 318 Citations

Entropic constraints on the steady-state fitness of competing self-replicators.

- BiologyThe Journal of chemical physics
- 2018

This work derives exact relations that show that the relative fitness of these species depends on a path function, ψ, which is a sum of the entropy production and a relative-entropy term in the limit of infinite path length.

A thermodynamic threshold for Darwinian evolution

- Biology
- 2021

In a population of nonequilibrium autocatalytic replicators, the critical selection coefficient (minimal fitness difference visible to selection) is lower bounded by the Gibbs free energy dissipated per replication event, presenting a fundamental thermodynamic threshold for Darwinian evolution.

Design of conditions for self-replication.

- BiologyPhysical review. E
- 2019

By analyzing the kinetics of a toy chemical model, it is demonstrated that the emergence of self-replication can be controlled by coarse, tunable features of the chemical system, such as the fraction of fast reactions and the width of the rate constant distribution.

A hierarchical thermodynamic imperative drives the evolution of self-replicative life systems towards increased complexity

- Physics
- 2021

This analysis suggests that complex self replicative life systems follow a thermodynamic hierarchical organisation based on increasing accessible levels of usable energy (work), which in turn drive an exponential punctuated growth of the system’s complexity, stored as internal energy and internal entropy.

Dissipative adaptation in driven self-assembly.

- PhysicsNature nanotechnology
- 2015

Focusing on newer results, it is proposed that they imply a general thermodynamic mechanism for self-organization via dissipation of absorbed work that may be applicable in a broad class of driven many-body systems.

Dissipation Bound for Thermodynamic Control.

- PhysicsPhysical review letters
- 2015

It is shown that when a fully realizable, entropically driven system moves in a directed way through thermodynamic space, it must produce entropy that is on average larger than its generalized displacement as measured by the Fisher information metric.

Self-replication of a quantum artificial organism driven by single-photon pulses

- PhysicsScientific reports
- 2021

Imitating the transition from inanimate to living matter is a longstanding challenge. Artificial life has achieved computer programs that self-replicate, mutate, compete and evolve, but lacks…

Spontaneous emergence of self-replication in chemical reaction systems

- BiologybioRxiv
- 2018

A general model for chemical reaction systems that properly accounts for energetics, kinetics and conservation laws is established, and complex self-replicating molecules emerge spontaneously from simple reaction systems through a sequence of transitions.

Mathematical modeling reveals spontaneous emergence of self-replication in chemical reaction systems

- BiologyThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
- 2018

This work sets up a general mathematical model for chemical reaction systems that properly accounts for energetics, kinetics, and the conservation law and finds that complex self-replicating molecules can emerge spontaneously and relatively easily from simplechemical reaction systems through a sequence of transitions.

On the Statistical Mechanics of Life: Schrödinger Revisited

- PhysicsEntropy
- 2019

It is argued that increasing complexity is an inevitable tendency for systems with these dynamics and explained this with the notion of metastable states, which are enclosed regions of the phase-space that the authors call “bubbles,” and channels between these, which were discovered by random motion of the system.

## References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 69 REFERENCES

Reversibility, heat dissipation, and the importance of the thermal environment in stochastic models of nonequilibrium steady states.

- PhysicsPhysical review letters
- 2008

By combining an information-theoretic measure of irreversibility with nonequilibrium work theorems, the thermal physics implied by abstract dynamics can be determined and this measure is bounded by thermodynamic entropy production and so may quantify how well a stochastic dynamics models reality.

Self-Sustained Replication of an RNA Enzyme

- BiologyScience
- 2009

An RNA enzyme that catalyzes the RNA-templated joining of RNA was converted to a format whereby two enzymes catalyze each other's synthesis from a total of four oligonucleotide substrates, allowing different selective outcomes to be related to the underlying properties of the genetic system.

Thermodynamic Basis for the Emergence of Genomes during Prebiotic Evolution

- BiologyPLoS Comput. Biol.
- 2012

This work shows that experimentally characterized kinetics and thermodynamics of RNA replication allow us to determine the physicochemical conditions required for the spontaneous crystallization of biological information, and suggests that among many potential oligomers capable of templated replication, RNAs may have evolved to form prebiotic genomes due to the value of their nonenzymatic fidelity.

Steady-state thermodynamics of Langevin systems.

- PhysicsPhysical review letters
- 2001

L Langevin dynamics describing nonequilibirum steady states is studied, finding that the extended form of the second law which they proposed holds for transitions between steady states and that the Shannon entropy difference is related to the excess heat produced in an infinitely slow operation.

Entropy production fluctuation theorem and the nonequilibrium work relation for free energy differences.

- Economics, PhysicsPhysical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics
- 1999

A generalized version of the fluctuation theorem is derived for stochastic, microscopically reversible dynamics and this generalized theorem provides a succinct proof of the nonequilibrium work relation.

Nonequilibrium generation of information in copolymerization processes

- EconomicsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- 2008

This work considers general fluctuating copolymerization processes, with or without underlying templates, and shows in particular how information acquisition results from the interplay between stored patterns and dynamical evolution in nonequilibrium environments.

Engineering Entropy-Driven Reactions and Networks Catalyzed by DNA

- BiologyScience
- 2007

A design strategy is introduced that allows a specified input oligonucleotide to catalyze the release of a specified output oligon nucleotide, which in turn can serve as a catalyst for other reactions, which provides an amplifying circuit element that is simple, fast, modular, composable, and robust.

Thermodynamics of microbial growth and metabolism: an analysis of the current situation.

- BiologyJournal of biotechnology
- 2006

The thermodynamics of template-directed DNA synthesis: Base insertion and extension enthalpies

- ChemistryProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- 2003

The data suggest a constant sequence-independent background of compensating enthalpic contributions to the overall process of DNA synthesis, with discrimination expressed by differences in noncovalent interactions at the template–primer level.