Noise-Induced Mechanism for Biological Homochirality of Early Life Self-Replicators

Farshid Jafarpour, Tommaso Biancalani, Nigel Goldenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The observed single-handedness of biological amino acids and sugars has long been attributed to autocatalysis. However, the stability of homochiral states in deterministic autocatalytic systems relies on cross inhibition of the two chiral states, an unlikely scenario for early life self-replicators. Here, we present a theory for a stochastic individual-level model of autocatalysis due to early life self-replicators. Without chiral inhibition, the racemic state is the global attractor of the deterministic dynamics, but intrinsic multiplicative noise stabilizes the homochiral states, in both well-mixed and spatially extended systems. We conclude that autocatalysis is a viable mechanism for homochirality, without imposing additional nonlinearities such as chiral inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number158101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 8 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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