Neutral theory of chemical reaction networks
2012 (English)In: New Journal of Physics, ISSN 1367-2630, Vol. 14, 033032- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
To what extent do the characteristic features of a chemical reaction network reflect its purpose and function? In general, one argues that correlations between specific features and specific functions are key to understanding a complex structure. However, specific features may sometimes be neutral and uncorrelated with any system-specific purpose, function or causal chain. Such neutral features are caused by chance and randomness. Here we compare two classes of chemical networks: one that has been subjected to biological evolution (the chemical reaction network of metabolism in living cells) and one that has not (the atmospheric planetary chemical reaction networks). Their degree distributions are shown to share the very same neutral system-independent features. The shape of the broad distributions is to a large extent controlled by a single parameter, the network size. From this perspective, there is little difference between atmospheric and metabolic networks; they are just different sizes of the same random assembling network. In other words, the shape of the degree distribution is a neutral characteristic feature and has no functional or evolutionary implications in itself; it is not a matter of life and death.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 14, 033032- p.
Nertwork, chemical reactions, mettabolism, planets, emergent properties
Other Physics Topics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-53319DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/14/3/033032ISI: 000302370400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-53319DiVA: diva2:511312