The Basic Reproductive Ratio of Life

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The Basic Reproductive Ratio of Life

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dc.contributor.author Manapat, Michael L.
dc.contributor.author Chen, Irene Ann
dc.contributor.author Nowak, Martin A.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-02T19:23:50Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Manapat Michael L., Irene A. Chen, Martin A. Nowak. 2010. The basic reproductive ratio of life. Journal of Theoretical Biology 263(3): 317-327. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0022-5193 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3777792
dc.description.abstract Template-directed polymerization of nucleotides is believed to be a pathway for the replication of genetic material in the earliest cells. We assume that activated monomers are produced by prebiotic chemistry. These monomers can undergo spontaneous polymerization, a system that we call “prelife.” Adding template-directed polymerization changes the equilibrium structure of prelife if the rate constants meet certain criteria. In particular, if the basic reproductive ratio of sequences of a certain length exceeds one, then those sequences can attain high abundance. Furthermore, if many sequences replicate, then the longest sequences can reach high abundance even if the basic reproductive ratios of all sequences are less than one. We call this phenomenon “subcritical life.” Subcritical life suggests that sequences long enough to be ribozymes can become abundant even if replication is relatively inefficient. Our work on the evolution of replication has interesting parallels to infection dynamics. Life (replication) can be seen as an infection of prelife. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Mathematics en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Organismic and Evolutionary Biology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.12.020 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.ped.fas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/all_publications.html#2010 en_US
dash.license OAP
dc.subject prelife en_US
dc.subject replication en_US
dc.subject template-directed synthesis en_US
dc.subject evolutionary dynamics en_US
dc.title The Basic Reproductive Ratio of Life en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Accepted Manuscript en_US
dc.relation.journal Journal of Theoretical Biology en_US
dash.depositing.author Nowak, Martin A.
dc.date.available 2010-04-02T19:23:50Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7470]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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