Interactive Life Science Laboratory and Section for Immunotherapy,
University of Oslo at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, 0310 Oslo, Norway.
Received: 8 October 2001/ Accepted: 14 November 2001/ Published: 20 November 2001
Abstract: Living systems imply self-reproducing constructs capable of Darwinian evolution. How such dynamics can arise from undirected interactions between simple monomeric objects remains an open question. Here we circumvent difficulties related to the manipulation of chemical interactions, and present a system of ferromagnetic objects that self-organize into template-replicating polymers due to environmental fluctuations in temperature. Initially random sequences of monomers direct the formation of complementary sequences, and structural information is inherited from one structure to another. Selective replication of sequences occurs in dynamic interaction with the environment, and the system demonstrates the fundamental link between thermodynamics, information theory, and life science in an unprecedented manner.
Keywords: self-replication; information theory; thermodynamics; genetics; ferromagnetism.