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      Emergence and Evolution of Complex Chemical Systems

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      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Abstract

          Complex chemical systems have a huge potential for delivering new applications in areas ranging from materials science (in the short term) to medicine (in the long term). Complex systems are also highly relevant to fundamental questions such as the origin of life. Research on complex chemical systems has developed in parallel in three poorly connected communities working on supramolecular chemistry, far-from-equilibrium systems and the origin of life, respectively. This project aims to establish Europe as a world-leader in the emerging area of complex chemical systems, by bringing together these research fields. The main objectives are to develop far-from-equilibrium self-assembly and self-replicating systems, self-assembling and reproducing compartments, and the use of information-rich molecules in these contexts. The approach to these subjects is inherently multidisciplinary and will only be possible by combining the expertise of different theoretical and experimental research groups around Europe.

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          Transient assembly of active materials fueled by a chemical reaction.

          Fuel-driven self-assembly of actin filaments and microtubules is a key component of cellular organization. Continuous energy supply maintains these transient biomolecular assemblies far from thermodynamic equilibrium, unlike typical synthetic systems that spontaneously assemble at thermodynamic equilibrium. Here, we report the transient self-assembly of synthetic molecules into active materials, driven by the consumption of a chemical fuel. In these materials, reaction rates and fuel levels, instead of equilibrium composition, determine properties such as lifetime, stiffness, and self-regeneration capability. Fibers exhibit strongly nonlinear behavior including stochastic collapse and simultaneous growth and shrinkage, reminiscent of microtubule dynamics.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
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            impact
            Science Impact, Ltd.
            2398-7073
            March 20 2018
            March 20 2018
            : 2018
            : 1
            : 57-62
            Article
            10.21820/23987073.2018.57
            © 2018

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering

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