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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-32621-6-ch001
Pages 3-5
First published 30 July 2014

Hybrid Chemo-Robotic Systems for Embodied Chemical Evaluation

Leroy Cronin

Abstract (Excerpt)

The development of inorganic systems capable of evolution as a fundamentally less complex 'emergent' model of prebiotic evolution is proposed as a solution to the information paradox that could pre date other more complex systems e.g. heteropolymers capable of catalysis and replication. In this approach we allow complexity and information transfer between systems to bootstrap the assembly of systems capable of exhibiting evolutionary dynamics. By developing a new paradigm for evolution outside of biology, we propose a roadmap to engineer the emergence of the minimal evolvable inorganic chemical entities that could eventually make the transition from dead to living matter. This new experimental approach not only requires developments in information theory, but automation of experiments, robotics, and evolutionary programming. Thus this area defines an intrinsically multidisciplinary field requiring contributions from chemistry / chemical engineering, molecular biology / genetics, robotics and computing science. Success could mean new hints to the origin of life on earth as well as the possibility of developing new types of artificial life based upon chemistries not found in biology today.