How life did originate and what is life, in its deepest foundation? The texture of life is known to be held by molecules and their chemical-physical laws, yet a thorough elucidation of the aforementioned questions still stands as a puzzling challenge for science. Focusing solely on molecules and their laws has indirectly consolidated, in the scientific knowledge, a mechanistic (reductionist) perspective of biology and medicine. This occurred throughout the long historical path of experimental science, affecting subsequently the onset of the many theses and speculations about the origin of life and its maintenance. Actually, defining what is life, asks for a novel epistemology, a ground on which living systems' organization, whose origin is still questioned via chemistry, physics and even philosophy, may provide a new key to focus onto the complex nature of the human being. In this scenario, many issues, such as the role of information and water structure, have been long time neglected from the theoretical basis on the origin of life and marginalized as a kind of scenic backstage. On the contrary, applied science and technology went ahead on considering molecules as the sole leading components in the scenery. Water physics and information dynamics may have a role in living systems much more fundamental than ever expected. Can an organism be simply explained by a mechanistic view of its nature or we need "something else"? Probably, we can earn sound foundations about life by simply changing our prejudicial view about living systems simply as complex, highly ordered machines. In this manuscript we would like to reappraise many fundamental aspects of molecular and chemical biology and reading them through a new paradigm, which includes Prigogine's dissipative structures and informational dissipation (Shannon dissipation). This would provide readers with insightful clues about how biology and chemistry may be thoroughly revised, referring to new models, such as informational dissipation. We trust they are enabled to address a straightforward contribution in elucidating what life is for science. This overview is not simply a philosophical speculation, but it would like to affect deeply our way to conceive and describe the foundations of organisms' life, providing intriguing suggestions for readers in the field.

Molecules, information and the origin of life: what is next?

Chirumbolo, Salvatore
;
Vella, Antonio
2021

Abstract

How life did originate and what is life, in its deepest foundation? The texture of life is known to be held by molecules and their chemical-physical laws, yet a thorough elucidation of the aforementioned questions still stands as a puzzling challenge for science. Focusing solely on molecules and their laws has indirectly consolidated, in the scientific knowledge, a mechanistic (reductionist) perspective of biology and medicine. This occurred throughout the long historical path of experimental science, affecting subsequently the onset of the many theses and speculations about the origin of life and its maintenance. Actually, defining what is life, asks for a novel epistemology, a ground on which living systems' organization, whose origin is still questioned via chemistry, physics and even philosophy, may provide a new key to focus onto the complex nature of the human being. In this scenario, many issues, such as the role of information and water structure, have been long time neglected from the theoretical basis on the origin of life and marginalized as a kind of scenic backstage. On the contrary, applied science and technology went ahead on considering molecules as the sole leading components in the scenery. Water physics and information dynamics may have a role in living systems much more fundamental than ever expected. Can an organism be simply explained by a mechanistic view of its nature or we need "something else"? Probably, we can earn sound foundations about life by simply changing our prejudicial view about living systems simply as complex, highly ordered machines. In this manuscript we would like to reappraise many fundamental aspects of molecular and chemical biology and reading them through a new paradigm, which includes Prigogine's dissipative structures and informational dissipation (Shannon dissipation). This would provide readers with insightful clues about how biology and chemistry may be thoroughly revised, referring to new models, such as informational dissipation. We trust they are enabled to address a straightforward contribution in elucidating what life is for science. This overview is not simply a philosophical speculation, but it would like to affect deeply our way to conceive and describe the foundations of organisms' life, providing intriguing suggestions for readers in the field.
origin of life
Shannon dissipation
dissipative system
molecules
Boltzmann
information
complexity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1038388
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