Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 571–585

A Computer-Glimpse of the Origin of Life


DOI: 10.1007/s10867-005-6163-4

Cite this article as:
Kuhn, C. J Biol Phys (2005) 31: 571. doi:10.1007/s10867-005-6163-4


Evolution is assumed to begin in a very particular compartmentalized location with periodic conditions. A highly diversified world is the driving force for the continuous increase in complexity by colonizing increasingly less favourable regions. Modeling the “origin-of-life” a Darwinian cyclic process is simulated (multiplication with sporadic errors followed by a construction and selection).

Starting from a RNA-world (R-strands of R1 and R2 monomers building Hairpin-Assembler devices) and introducing another kind of monomers (A1 and A2 which interlink to the Hairpin-Assembler devices such that they become bound and form an A-oligomer) it is shown that a simple translation apparatus evolves producing enzymes (specific sequences of A1 and A2 monomers given by the sequences of R1 and R2 monomers on the assembler-strands). Later on D-strands are introduced, which are not capable of participating in the synthesis of A-oligomers. These D-strands become carriers of the genetic information and induce the formation of increasingly complex entities of functionally interplaying components.

Key words

origin of lifeevolutiongenetic apparatusgenetic codeemergence and storage of informationself organisationfundamental conditionsassemblerhairpinRNA worldassembler-hairpin-enzyme deviceRNA-protein worldDNA-RNA-protein worldcomputer simulation

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute für Molekularbiologie und BiophysikGruppe Biophysik, ETH–HönggerbergZürichSwitzerland