Notice: This is an archived and unmaintained page. For current information, please browse

2001 Annual Science Report

Scripps Research Institute Reporting  |  JUL 2000 – JUN 2001

Self Reproducing (RL) Molecular Systems and Darwinian Chemistry --Rebek's Laboratory

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

Self Reproducing (RL) Molecular Systems abd Darwinian Chemistry (dm)

Autocatalysis based on molecular recognition is a phenomenon generally associated with molecular replication. In templated autocatalysis, the product selects specific reactants and acts as a template that makes copies of itself. Because the product is self-complementary, product inhibition is an inevitable consequence of template-mediated replication. Here, we introduce an autocatalytic system in which no direct contact exists between reagents and products. Autocatalysis is observed, but the products do not compete for reaction sites; the two species simply exchange residences. The autocatalytic behavior, therefore, is viewed more correctly as an emergent property of the system as a whole, rather than a property of specific molecules within the system

    Julius Rebek
    Project Investigator

    Dmitry Rudkevich

    Stephen Craig

    Csaba Nemes

    Colin Nuckolls

    Paul Wash

    Chong Choi
    Research Staff

    Ronald Castellano
    Doctoral Student

    Liam Palmer
    Doctoral Student

    Objective 2.0
    Develop and test plausible pathways by which ancient counterparts of membrane systems, proteins and nucleic acids were synthesized from simpler precursors and assembled into protocells.

    Objective 3.0
    Replicating, catalytic systems capable of evolution, and construct laboratory models of metabolism in primitive living systems.