Publication

Control over the emergence of self-replicators in dynamic molecular networks

Leonetti, G. 2016 [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 114 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Documents

  • Title and contents

    Final publisher's version, 190 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 1

    Final publisher's version, 3 MB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 2

    Final publisher's version, 5 MB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 3

    Final publisher's version, 1 MB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 09/12/2019

  • Chapter 4

    Final publisher's version, 667 KB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 5

    Final publisher's version, 4 MB, PDF-document

  • Chapter 6

    Final publisher's version, 48 KB, PDF-document

  • Summary

    Final publisher's version, 46 KB, PDF-document

  • Samenvatting

    Final publisher's version, 49 KB, PDF-document

  • Acknowledgements

    Final publisher's version, 45 KB, PDF-document

  • Complete thesis

    Final publisher's version, 15 MB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 09/12/2019

  • Propositions

    Final publisher's version, 66 KB, PDF-document

  • Giulia Leonetti
The quest for the origin of life requires the understanding of how the cells, the simplest living organisms, could have assembled from simple molecules to the point of bearing fundamental properties as self-replication (i.e. the ability to make copies of itself) and being capable of converting food into energy.

This thesis focuses on the behavior of self-replicating molecules under different experimental conditions. The ultimate aim would be to give rise to a fully synthetic system that can be defined as “living”. Our group recently discovered that a class of simple building blocks could give rise to self-replicating molecules. Taking inspiration from living entities, we subjected the building blocks to different environments, finding that different replicators emerge accordingly; the change in environment was obtained with the addition of a second solvent other than water in the samples containing the building blocks. The population of replicators in a sample also changes if a gradual change in environment is being applied. Furthermore, competition between two replicators in a specific environment can be observed if they need common resources to maintain their own population. Finally, studies on mixtures of replicators to give rise to evolutionary pathways (similar to evolution of biological species) are reported.

The same class of molecules has also been employed in the development of small-sized polymers with a narrow range of lengths, showing therefore their versatility and demonstrating we can control their properties.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Otto, Sijbren, Supervisor
  • Hirsch, Anna, Assessment committee
  • Kros, Alexander, Assessment committee, External person
  • Philp, Douglas, Assessment committee, External person
Award date9-Dec-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9374-2
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9373-5
StatePublished - 2016

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