I have read about Von-neumann self replication from Theory of Self-reproducing automata, which are lecture notes reconstructed from lectures in book of the same name. Theory of Self-reproducing automata
Its looks really interesting that neumann has formalize this even far before the discovery of DNA. I'm looking the work now from biological perspective and the work by Jeremy England his paper on Statistical Physics of Self-Replication and other similar work in irreversible biological process.
The work that Von-neumann did was around 50's. Is there any recent relevant work in this field based on the neumann's work. One that i could see is Enhancing the Robustness of Self-Replication Processes