Metabolism is a molecular, cellular, ecological and planetary phenomenon, whose fundamental principles are likely at the heart of what makes living matter different from inanimate one. Systems biology approaches developed for the quantitative analysis of metabolism at multiple scales can help understand metabolism's ancient history. In this review, we highlight work that uses network-level approaches to shed light on key innovations in ancient life, including the emergence of proto-metabolic networks, collective autocatalysis and bioenergetics coupling. Recent experiments and computational analyses have revealed new aspects of this ancient history, paving the way for the use of large datasets to further improve our understanding of life's principles and abiogenesis.
Goldford, J. E., & Segrè, D. (2018, April 1). Modern views of ancient metabolic networks. Current Opinion in Systems Biology. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coisb.2018.01.004