The scope of this project is to develop complex systems inspired on biomolecules while utilising and developing an unconventional and innovative approach towards the programming of information in our conceived monomers designed for self-replication.
Throughout the literature we can find parallel trends in designing systems holding molecular information. Supramolecular chemists have been developing molecular ‘receptors’ to accommodate various substrates from simple ions to more complex molecules and polymers. A more specialist approach has been developed by chemists working with self-replicating nucleic acids and even proteins. But this has not been without setbacks such as product inhibition.
In order to counter such setbacks we plan to promote the leaving group to information carrier. In conventional chemistry a leaving group has only one role and that is to leave our compound with ease in order to obtain high yield and a fast substitution reaction. Developing this group has not gone further than improving the ‘leaving’ qualities.
Inspired by the chemical simplification of tRNA as leaving group and information carrier during protein synthesis, developing leaving groups based on nucleobases or other self-recognising structures is a new way to develop ‘molecular genetics’. But this is not only an attempt to create ‘chemical life’, this is a project in order to grasp the complexity of kinetics andthermodynamics behind biochemical systems while developing a new, widely applicable concept in chemistry. Understanding and predicting the manychemical balances in these complex systems will pose a significant challenge.