First published July 1 2016
A Self-Replicating System of Ribosome and Replisome Factories
An artificial chemistry with composition devices borrowed from object-oriented and functional programming languages was introduced in prior work. Actors in object-oriented combinator chemistry are embedded in space and subject to diffusion; since they are neither created nor destroyed, mass is conserved. This paper further develops these ideas and applies them in significant ways. First, it introduces the concept of a self-replicating systems normalized complexity. Normalized complexity permits comparisons between artificial organisms defined in different virtual worlds by explicitly accounting for the relative complexities of both organism and world. Second, object-oriented combinator chemistry is used to define a parallel, asynchronous, spatially distributed self-replicating system modeled in part on the living cell. This system is strongly constructive since interactions among its parts results in the construction of more of these same parts; constructed parts are assembled from elements of a few primitive types. The systems high normalized complexity is contrasted with that of a simple composome, which is also defined.