Document Detail


Thermodynamic perspectives on genetic instructions, the laws of biology and diseased states.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21262480     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
This article examines in a broad perspective entropy and some examples of its relationship to evolution, genetic instructions and how we view diseases. Living organisms are programmed by functional genetic instructions (FGI), through cellular communication pathways, to grow and reproduce by maintaining a variety of hemistable, ordered structures (low entropy). Living organisms are far from equilibrium with their surrounding environmental systems, which tends towards increasing disorder (increasing entropy). Organisms free themselves from high entropy (high disorder) to maintain their cellular structures for a period of time sufficient to allow reproduction and the resultant offspring to reach reproductive ages. This time interval varies for different species. Bacteria, for example need no sexual parents; dividing cells are nearly identical to the previous generation of cells, and can begin a new cell cycle without delay under appropriate conditions. By contrast, human infants require years of care before they can reproduce. Living organisms maintain order in spite of their changing surrounding environment that decreases order according to the second law of thermodynamics. These events actually work together since living organisms create ordered biological structures by increasing local entropy. From a disease perspective, viruses and other disease agents interrupt the normal functioning of cells. The pressure for survival may result in mechanisms that allow organisms to resist attacks by viruses, other pathogens, destructive chemicals and physical agents such as radiation. However, when the attack is successful, the organism can be damaged until the cell, tissue, organ or entire organism is no longer functional and entropy increases.
Authors:
Jack T Trevors; Milton H Saier
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-12-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Comptes rendus biologies     Volume:  334     ISSN:  1768-3238     ISO Abbreviation:  C. R. Biol.     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-01-25     Completed Date:  2011-05-04     Revised Date:  2014-04-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101140040     Medline TA:  C R Biol     Country:  France    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animals
Biological Evolution
Biology*
Cell Cycle
Cell Physiological Phenomena
Disease / genetics*
Entropy
Environment
Genetics*
Humans
Survival
Thermodynamics*
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
GM077402/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS; R01 GM077402/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS; R01 GM077402-06/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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