Understanding Complex Systems

Modelling Protocells

The Emergent Synchronization of Reproduction and Molecular Replication

Authors: Serra, Roberto, Villani, Marco

  • Provides a unitary approach to protocell models
  • Includes a brief discussion on the role of quantum coherent states in the origin of life
  • Written by the Chairman of the Science Board of the European Centre for Living Technology
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About this book

The monograph discusses models of synthetic protocells, which are cell-like structures obtained from non-living matter endowed with some rudimentary kind of metabolism and genetics, but much simpler than biological cells. They should grow and proliferate, generating offsprings that resemble in some way the parent protocells with some variation, so that selection may take place. Sustainable protocell populations have not yet been obtained experimentally and mathematical models are therefore extremely important to address key questions concerning their synthesis and behavior. Different protocell “architectures” have been proposed and high-level abstract models like those that are presented in this book are particularly relevant to gain a better understanding of the different properites. These models are able to treat all the major dynamical phenomena in a unified framework, so they can be seen as “virtual laboratories” for protocell research. Particular attention is paid to the problem of synchronization of the fission rate of the whole protocell and the duplication rate of its "protogenetic" material, which is shown to be an emergent property that spontaneously develops in successive generations.
The book is of interest for a broad range of scientists working in soft matter physics, chemistry and biology, interested in the role protocells may play on the development of new technologies with medical, environmental and industrial applications as well as scientists interested in the origin of life.

About the authors

Roberto Serra is full professor of Complex Systems at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. He has previously been the Head of the Environmental Research Centre of the Montedison industrial group, the President of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence AI*IA and the Chairman of the Science Board of the European Centre for Living Technology. His main research interests, besides protocells, concern the dynamical modelling of Complex Systems, with applications to gene regulatory networks and cell differentiation, the analysis of their organization and the dynamical systems approach to Artificial Intelligence. He is the author or editor of eight books and of about 160 papers in international journals and conference proceedings with peer review.  
Marco Villani is associate professor of Computer Science at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and a fellow of the European Centre for Living Technology. His main research interests, besides protocells, concern the dynamical modelling of Complex Systems, with applications to gene regulatory networks and cell differentiation, the analysis of their organization and the simulation of social systems. He is the editor of three books and of about 100 papers in international journals and conference proceedings with peer review.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Serra, Roberto (et al.)

    Pages 1-14

  • Generic Properties of Dynamical Models of Protocells

    Serra, Roberto (et al.)

    Pages 15-27

  • Dynamical Models of Protocells and Synchronization

    Serra, Roberto (et al.)

    Pages 29-59

  • Models of Self-Replication

    Serra, Roberto (et al.)

    Pages 61-104

  • A Stochastic Model of Growing and Dividing Protocells

    Serra, Roberto (et al.)

    Pages 105-147

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1160-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $89.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1158-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Modelling Protocells
Book Subtitle
The Emergent Synchronization of Reproduction and Molecular Replication
Authors
Series Title
Understanding Complex Systems
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-024-1160-7
DOI
10.1007/978-94-024-1160-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-024-1158-4
Series ISSN
1860-0832
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 182
Number of Illustrations and Tables
13 b/w illustrations, 33 illustrations in colour
Topics