What Is Life: An Informational Model of the Living Structures

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 5 (2):18-28 (2020)
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Schröedinger’s question “what is life?” was a real challenge for the scientific community and this still remains as an opened question, because in spite of the important advances in various scientific branches like philosophy, biology, chemistry and physics,, each of them assesses life from its particular point of view to explain the life’ characteristic features, so not a coherent and well structured general model of life was reported. In this paper life is approached from informational perspective, starting from earlier Draganeacu's philosophic concepts, showing that actually life is structured by matter and information. Therefore, it is analyzed carbon-matter properties on the basis of which the living structures are composed, giving rise not only of a considerable number of carbon-based compounds, but serving now beside silicon, as an useful material for micro/nanostructure applications. Such specific properties refers to the high ability of carbon to associate/dissociate in chemical reactions regulated/facilitated by informational (Bit unit) YES/NO bistable mechanisms to form macro/small molecules with complementary properties, reactive info-functional pathways of transduction, relaying, amplification, integration, spreading, modulation, activation and positive/negative feedback reactions, like in the informational microelectronic/microsystems circuits. It is argued that the negentropy invoked earlier in Schrödinger's analysis is a consequence of informational-assisted structuration/organization of the cell and human organism. From the analysis of inter/intra-communication mechanisms in the cell and comparing with the outcomes described by the Informational Model of Human Body, it is deduced that, the living organisms operate on the basis of three main streaming circuits assuring the living functions: (1) the metabolic matter-related circuit; (2) the operative informational circuit; (3) the epigenetic informational circuit for the gradual integration of information in the central informational structure – DNA. It is founded on these bases the Informational Model of the Living Structures, and the Informational System of the Living Structures (ISLS), with similar functions on the entire living scale size, from unitary to multicellular living structures, composed by seven informational systems, namely [CASI (center of acquisition and storing of information), CDC (center of decision and command), IRSS (info-reactive sentient system), MIS (maintenance info-system), GTS (genetic transmission system), IGG (info-genetic generator) and IC (info-connection)]ISLS, and are identified the specific functions of each of them. The living structures operate thus like self-“polarized" bipolar info-matter informational devices by means of the stand-by metabolic matter-related circuit, and react/respond to the external/internal informational stimuli, which modulate their functionality, returning an external reaction signal (“attitude"), for adaptation and survival.

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