The Hypercycle

  title={The Hypercycle},
  author={Manfred Eigen and Peter Schuster},
Topologic methods are used to characterize a particular class of self-replicative reaction networks: the hypercycles. The results show that the properties of hypercycles are sufficient for a stable integration of the information contained in several self-replicative units. Among the catalytic networks studied, hypercyclic organization proves to be a necessary prerequisite for maintaining the stability of information and for promoting its further evolution. The techniques used in this paper… Expand
The most important properties of hypercycles are autocatalytic growth competition between cycles, once-for-ever selective behaviour, utilization of small selective advantage, rapid evolvability, increased information capacity, and selection against parasitic branches. Expand
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  • Mathematics, Physics
  • Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
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A protocell model consisting of mutually catalyzing molecules is studied, in order to investigate how chemical compositions are transferred recursively through cell divisions under replicationExpand
Spatio-temporal dynamics in simple asymmetric hypercycles under weak parasitic coupling
Hypercycles represent an example of cooperation at the molecular level suggested to be involved in the evolution of the first autonomous, selfreproducing molecular living-like systems. However, theyExpand
The instability of the autogen
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  • Biology, Medicine
  • Journal of Molecular Evolution
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The autogen is considered in terms of hypercycle theory, and its dynamic behavior is subjected to fixed point analysis, showing that the components of the autogen are incapable of stable coexistence. Expand
Full analysis of small hypercycles with short-circuits in prebiotic evolution
Abstract It is known that hypercycles are sensitive to the so-called parasites and short-circuits. While the impact of parasites has been widely investigated for well-mixed and spatial hypercycles,Expand
Autocatalytic Sets and Biological Specificity
This paper studies how the behaviour of a simple binary polymer model can be extended to models where the pattern of catalysis more precisely reflects the ligation and cleavage reactions involved, and establishes a number of new results concerning the structure of RAFs. Expand
A theory for the origin of a self-replicating chemical system
A computer simulation based on the fluctuating clay environment was used to test whether autocatalytic growth would occur under various conditions and suggested that overall accuracies of replication and translation in the range of 90% and 10%, and protoenzyme turnover numbers of 10–120 monomers/protoenzyme/day are adequate for exponential growth. Expand
Catalytic reaction sets, decay, and the preservation of information
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  • Chemistry, Physics
  • IEMC '03 Proceedings. Managing Technologically Driven Organizations: The Human Side of Innovation and Change (IEEE Cat. No.03CH37502)
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A genetic algorithm is used to evolve reaction sets to generate specific polymer distributions under the influence of decay and the beginnings of hypercycle-type structures can be observed, believed to have been an important step toward the evolution of the first living cells. Expand
Reproduction of a protocell by replication of a minority molecule in a catalytic reaction network.
It is observed that the protocell divides after a minority molecule is replicated at a slow synthesis rate, and thus, a synchrony between the reproduction of a cell and molecule replication is achieved and the robustness of such protocells against the invasion of parasitic molecules is demonstrated. Expand


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Kinetic measurements show a negative activation energy for helix formation, which indicates that helix nucleation involves the formation of more than one base pair, as determined by a differential absorption technique. Expand
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Abstract Subunit I of the RNA phage-specific Qβ replicase is shown to be identical with the Escherichia coli 30 S ribosomal protein Sl by the following criteria: (a) ability to restore QβExpand