Details of talk
|Title||The fundamental equation of life|
|Presenter||Rowena Ball (Australian National University)|
We model the putative hydrothermal rock pore setting for the origin of life on Earth as a train of continuous flow units coupled in series. Perfusing through the train are reactants that give rise to thermochemical and pH oscillations, and an activated nucleotide, which produces monomer and dimer monophosphates. The dynamical equations that model this system are fully thermally self-consistent. Crucially, we build stochasticity of the inputs into the model. Interrogating the computational results, we find that they infer various constraints and conditions on, and insights into, the origin of life and its physical setting: long, interconnected porous structures would have been essential, longitudinal nonuniformity of pores favourable, and the ubiquitous pH-dependences of all biology may well have been established in the prebiotic era. We demonstrate the important role of input fluctuations in driving the growth, evolution and diversification of the prebiotic world to a living world. In particular, we show explicitly that the resulting outputs must have a left-skewed, right-weighted probability distribution for a prebiotic system to evolve towards a living system. These results also vindicate the general approach of constructing and running a simple toy model to learn important new information about a complex system.