• blues
Is it possible that entropy at the molecular level (protein disorder) can be related to entropy at the cellular level (phenomena like cross talk and noise in signalling pathways)? Is it possible that these can be related to higher levels of entropy - say, cellular indeterminacy and differentiation? How would you go about setting up the theoretical, computational and experimental ways to approach this?
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • katieb
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  • anonymous
Wow, your question touches on issues that I think are at the core of problems embedded within the thought-process of conventional science. The concept of entropy has its place, of course, and reasonably so, in the study of non-living things. But the study of life proceeds without a full panoply of scientific tools if it can't escape from the boundaries of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Life itself is a billions of of years long process of careful, complex and multiply varied "violation" of the 2nd Law. It is the exact opposite of entropy. The brilliant questions you ask would probably be explored more fruitfully when seen from the other end: life is process of increasing energy differentials; multiplying complex arrangements of matter; and deepening of structure-based information systems. All of these appear to go in the reverse direction of entropy. So, even just re-phrasing it might give more: "Is it possible that the process of increasing energy differentials; multiplying complex arrangements of matter; and deepening of structure-based information systems at the molecular level can be related to the same occurring at the cellular level?" If the answer is yes (and it is), then we pick specific examples that can illustrate it, design experiments to confirm it, and then explore the effect of obstacles (deteriorating factors which reverse the direction toward entropy) at both levels of organization. Might this be a fruitful procedure? At least at the theoretical level? Thanks, Petros,

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