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SYSTEMS CHEMISTRY

Complex networks at life’s origins

Explaining the controlled emergence and growth of molecular complexity at life’s origins is one of prebiotic chemistry’s grand challenges. Now, it has been shown that we can observe how the self-organization of a complex carbohydrate network can be modulated by its environment.

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Fig. 1: Self-organization of the Butlerow (formose) reaction in response to varying environmental conditions.

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Correspondence to Kamila B. Muchowska.

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Dherbassy, Q., Muchowska, K.B. Complex networks at life’s origins. Nat. Chem. 14, 597–599 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-022-00962-9

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