Self-organization and entropy reduction in a living cell

Paul Davies, Elisabeth Rieper, Jack A. Tuszynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the entropy and information aspects of a living cell. Particular attention is paid to the information gain on assembling and maintaining a living state. Numerical estimates of the information and entropy reduction are given and discussed in the context of the cell's metabolic activity. We discuss a solution to an apparent paradox that there is less information content in DNA than in the proteins that are assembled based on the genetic code encrypted in DNA. When energy input required for protein synthesis is accounted for, the paradox is clearly resolved. Finally, differences between biological information and instruction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBioSystems
Volume111
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Entropy
  • Genetic code
  • Information theory
  • Shannon information
  • Thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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