Fishkis presents a model of coevolution of short peptides (P) and short oligonucleotides (N) at an early stage of chemical evolution leading to the origin of life. The model describes polymerization of both P and N types of molecules on mineral surfaces in aqueous solution at moderate temperatures. It is assumed that amino acid and nucleotide monomers were available in a prebiotic milieu, that periodic variation in environmental conditions between dry/warm and wet/cool took place and that energy sources were available for the polymerization. An artificial chemistry approach in combination with agent-based modeling was used to explore chemical evolution from an initially random mixture of monomers. It was assumed that the oligonucleotides could serve as templates for self-replication and for translation of peptide compositional sequences, and that certain peptides could serve as weak catalysts. The result of the simulation was the emergence of self-replicating molecular systems consisting of peptide catalysts and oligonucleotide templates.
Emergence of Self-Reproduction in Cooperative Chemical Evolution of Prebiological Molecules
Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. Volume 41, Number 3 (2011), 261-275.