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- Dec 2020
In the second idea, German chemist Manfred Eigen described what he called a “hypercycle,” in which several autocatalytic sets combine to form a single larger one. Eigen’s variant introduces a crucial distinction: In a hypercycle, some of the chemicals are genes and are therefore made of DNA or some other nucleic acid, while others are proteins that are made-to-order based on the information in the genes. This system could evolve based on changes—mutations—in the genes, a function that Kauffman’s model lacked.