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Artificial Chemistries$
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Wolfgang Banzhaf and Lidia Yamamoto

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029438

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029438.001.0001

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The Chemistry of Life

The Chemistry of Life

(p.77) Chapter 5 The Chemistry of Life
Artificial Chemistries

Wolfgang Banzhaf

Lidia Yamamoto

The MIT Press

This chapter introduces some basic concepts from chemistry and biology that are often at the heart of various approaches to artificial chemistries. It starts with the problem of how to define life, and the importance of inorganic ingredients such as water, energy, and some small chemical compounds. It then looks at the biomolecules that form the basic building blocks of life, such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. After that it shows how these building blocks are combined into increasingly elaborate structures, until cells and multicellular organisms are formed. The chapter concludes with an overview of some important cellular processes that have inspired many artificial chemistries, such as metabolism, genetic regulation, cell signalling, morphogenesis, and immunity.

Keywords:   Carbohydrate, DNA, Gene expression and regulation, Immune system, Lipid, Metabolism, Morphogenesis, Nucleic acid, Protein, RNA

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