Paper abstract

Predicting template-based catalysis rates in a simple catalytic reaction model

Wim Hordijk and Mike Steel

Journal of Theoretical Biology 295, 132-138, 2012.

We show that in a particular model of catalytic reaction systems, known as the binary polymer model, there is a mathematical concordance between two versions of the model: (1) random catalysis and (2) template-based catalysis. In particular, we derive an analytical calculation that allows us to accurately predict the (observed) required level of catalysis in one version of the model from that in the other version, for a given probability of having self-sustaining autocatalytic sets exist in instances of both model versions. This provides a tractable connection between two models that have been investigated in theoretical origin-of-life studies.