4 years ago

Autocatalytic confusion clarified

There is frequent confusion about the terms autocatalytic reaction, autocatalytic cycle, and autocatalytic set. As the use of the same adjective implies, these three systems do indeed share common properties, in particular their potential for exponential growth. However, the ways in which they achieve this potential are different, giving rise to different internal network structures and dynamics. Therefore, care should be taken which term is used in which context. Here, we explain and discuss the similarities and differences between the three systems in detail, in an effort to avoid any further confusion. We then also discuss the relevance of these autocatalytic systems for possible origin of life scenarios, with an emphasis on how autocatalytic sets may have played an important role in this.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022519317304150

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