This article reviews the growing body of scientific work in artificial chemistry. First, common motivations and fundamental concepts are introduced. Second, current research activities are discussed along three application dimensions: modeling, information processing, and optimization. Finally, common phenomena among the different systems are summarized. It is argued here that artificial chemistries are “the right stuff” for the study of prebiotic and biochemical evolution, and they provide a productive framework for questions regarding the origin and evolution of organizations in general. Furthermore, artificial chemistries have a broad application range of practical problems, as shown in this review.