Entropy of Living versus Non-Living Systems

DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2011.27077   PDF   HTML   XML   7,091 Downloads   12,707 Views   Citations


Using a careful thermodynamic analysis of unfertilized and fertilized eggs as a paradigm, it is argued that neither classical nor statistical thermodynamics is able to adequately describe living systems. To rescue thermodynamics from this dilemma, the definition of entropy for a living system must expand to acknowedge the latent genetic information encoded in DNA and RNA.As a working supposition, it is proposed that gradual unfolding (expression) of genetic information contributes a negative entropy flow into a living organism that alleviates apparent thermodynamic inconsistencies. It is estimated that each coding codon in DNA intrinsically carries about -3k in negative entropy. Even prior to the discovery of DNA and the genetic code, negative entropy flow in living systems was first proposed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1944.

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I. Sanchez, "Entropy of Living versus Non-Living Systems," Journal of Modern Physics, Vol. 2 No. 7, 2011, pp. 654-657. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2011.27077.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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