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The Hypercycle

A principle of natural self-organization Part C: The realistic hypercycle

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Abstract

The proposed model for a ‘realistic hypercycle’ is closely associated with the molecular organization of a primitive replication and translation apparatus. Hypercyclic organization offers selective stabilization and evolutive adaptation for all geno- and phenotypic constituents of the functionally linked ensemble. It originates in a molecular quasi-species and evolves by way of mutation and gene duplication to greater complexity. Its early structure appears to be reflected in: the assignment of codons to amino acids, in sequence homologies of tRNAs, in dual enzymic functions of replication and translation, and in the structural and functional organization of the genome of the prokaryotic cell.

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This work was greatly stimulated by discussion with Francis Crick, Stanley Miller, and Lesile orgel; which for us meant some ‘selection pressure’ to look for more continuity in molecular evolution. Especiely helpful were suggestions and comments by Ch. Biebricher, I. Epstein, B. Gutte, D. Pörschke, K., Sigmund, P. Wolley, and R. Wolff.

The work at Vienna was supported by the Austrian ‘Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung’ (Project Nr. 3502). Ruthlid Winkler-Oswatitsch designed most of the illustrations and was always a patient and critical discussant. Thanks to all for their help.

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Eigen, M., Schuster, P. The Hypercycle. Naturwissenschaften 65, 341–369 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00439699

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