We can imagine that with the right metallic catalysts added as ingredients to the pre biotic soup polymerization could have been enhanced allowing the existing polymers to grow in complexity. But an even better solution would be if the polymers themselves had catalytic capacities because as they facilitated their own growth in length and complexity they could also increase their catalytic powers further enhancing their complexification. In other words, if polymers could act as their own catalysts they would generate a self-stimulating process that would increase their complexity exponentially. Some contemporary proteins, called enzymes, can act as more powerful and specific catalysts than metallic crystals. They can manipulate the flows of protons and electrons driven by Ph and redox gradients but without relying on intense concentrations of substances that would be harmful to an organism. Some of the amino acids that compose digestive enzymes, for instance, can interact with one another to act as a proton shuttle, transferring positively charged particles to and from a target. These amino acids may form the active site of the enzyme (the part that locks into its target) so they combine the capacity for molecular recognition with that for gradient manipulation. And similarly for redox gradients: if a piece of a metal atom, an iron or copper ion, for example, is inserted into an enzyme it can in combination with the amino acids in the active site act as an electron shuttle. Both proton and electron flows can be used to turn an uphill step in a chemical reaction into a downhill one accelerating the overall reaction with high specificity. [Nota de rodapé 3: David Dressler and Huntington Potter. Discovering Enzymes. (New York: Scientific American Library, 1991). p. 1 68-72. And: N.C. Veitch and J.P. Williams. The Molecular Basis of Electron Transfer in Redox Enzyme Systems. In Frontiers of Biotransformation. Vol. 7. (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1992). p. 283-90.] (Delanda 2011:37-8)
DELANDA, Manuel. 2011. Philosophy and Simulation: The emergence of Synthetic Reason. Londres: Bloomsbury Academic.