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Entropy of Living versus Non-Living Systems

Author(s): Isaac C. Sanchez

Journal: Journal of Modern Physics
ISSN 2153-1196

Volume: 02;
Issue: 07;
Start page: 654;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Negative Entropy | DNA | Genetic Code | Codon | Second Law of Thermodynamics

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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