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The chemoton is an abstract model for life introduced by Tibor Gánti in 1971. Its aim was to define the minimal model of a living organism.

A living system:

  1. Has to be separated from its environment.
  2. Has to perform metabolism with its environment.
  3. It must replicate itself.
  4. It has to have a polymer type subsystem carrying information.
  5. It must have an autocatalytic system, which is connected to the metabolism and creates the stuff needed to grow its boundary and to replicate its information system.

Such a system may be called alive, since it can live, replicate in its proper environment and it can evolve, since there is an information system.


T. Gánti: The principles of life Oxford University Press 2003.