Shells of Life
Life Context

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 06/12/2007


At the beginning an empty blackboard was.................

Assuming a top-down approach to the logic of living organisms we can start defining the functions characterizing a single (animal)organism.
They can be summarized as follows:

All known organisms have to perform actions intended to survive and/or to reproduce; if we see them they are able to do that in the current environment.

Universality : this rule apply at any level: population, whole body, tissue, cell, virus.

Actions may be summarized as:

  • reproducing
  • doing something else

The choice between reproduction and doing something else is a typical bifurcation and requires a choice driven by the local conditions. Identification of factors involved in this choice would allow a better comprehension of events like fetal and cancer growth, tissues differentiation etc.

Universality : the choice of reproduce itself requires a minimal amount of nutrients (corresponding to the molecules of the new cell + energy to build them) but excess nutrients (richness) can inhibit it. To duplicate increases the opportunity to find out nutrients (if the individuals spread) Open question: find out the local conditions driving this behavior

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