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The Role of Stochastic Models in Interpreting the Origins of Biological Chirality

Author(s): Gábor Lente

Journal: Symmetry
ISSN 2073-8994

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 767;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: absolute asymmetric synthesis | Soai reaction | stochastic kinetics | enantiomeric excess distributions | biological chirality | chiral fluctuations

This review summarizes recent stochastic modeling efforts in the theoretical research aimed at interpreting the origins of biological chirality. Stochastic kinetic models, especially those based on the continuous time discrete state approach, have great potential in modeling absolute asymmetric reactions, experimental examples of which have been reported in the past decade. An overview of the relevant mathematical background is given and several examples are presented to show how the significant numerical problems characteristic of the use of stochastic models can be overcome by non-trivial, but elementary algebra. In these stochastic models, a particulate view of matter is used rather than the concentration-based view of traditional chemical kinetics using continuous functions to describe the properties system. This has the advantage of giving adequate description of single-molecule events, which were probably important in the origin of biological chirality. The presented models can interpret and predict the random distribution of enantiomeric excess among repetitive experiments, which is the most striking feature of absolute asymmetric reactions. It is argued that the use of the stochastic kinetic approach should be much more widespread in the relevant literature.
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