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A single chemical reaction is said to have undergone autocatalysis, or be autocatalytic, if the reaction product is itself the catalyst for that reaction.

A set of chemical reactions can be said to be "collectively autocatalytic" if a number of those reactions produce, as reaction products, catalysts for enough of the other reactions that the entire set of chemical reactions is self sustaining given an input of energy and food molecules.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Autocatalysis", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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October 6, 2015

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