WHAT IS LIFE?

 

According to Tao, life to human is he is alive when the soul is in

his body. If the soul is not in his body, then the body is dead, just

like a corpse. The only difference between a living person and a

dead person is whether the soul is in the body or has left the body.

If a soul resides in a human body, then he is a human; if the soul

resides in the animal body, then it is an animal…..the soul is the

main source of life to give to the body.

 

Spiritually the soul never dies as it was never created or born, just like

God; no beginning and no end. When life takes form in the human

body, he has to go through sufferings and the four basic are birth,

old age, sickness and death. Because of suffering, human beings

cultivate and purify themselves so that their souls can be reborn in

an eternal happy state after death….Heaven.  Below is a poem

from Heaven:

 

“People rarely live up to a hundred years of age

Yet, they carry with them the worries of a thousand years

Within this chaotic and dazzling world, it is only due to ignorance

That people have created for themselves

Thousands and tens of thousands of attachments and worries

Like cycles within cycles and layers upon layers

These attachments and worries have firmly plugged their minds

So tightly plugged that one is nearly suffocated

So densely blocked that it becomes indissoluble

Their purpose in life have been totally sunk into a loss

And an illusion of the past, the present and the future

No time is ever spared to seek the real meaning of life

Hence, greed, anger, ignorance and desire come into being

Cause-Consequence and samsara come into being

And the endless floating and sinking of births and deaths come into being”

 

 

TA Chew      Home page

 

The page below was created by Nasif Nahle, Biologist explaining

life from another angle other than spiritual.

 

What is life?

 

I do not have an express definition of life, but from direct and

indirect observations of the thermal state of the living structures,

we can give the next definition of life:

 

Life is a delay of the spontaneous diffusion or dispersion of the

internal energy of the biomolecules towards more potential microstates.

 

Life is the transfer of energy by the Proton Motive Force carried

out by some specialized molecules called ATP synthases bonded

to a biomembrane. Then,  life is a state of the energy experienced

by a specific array of organic matter. The most important thing to

keep in mind is that, thanks to those oscillations in the electrochemical

field of a biomembrane, some thermodynamic systems are able to

delay the dispersion of their energy toward more potential microstates.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: AN ENERGY CONFIGURATION IS A SET

OF PARAMETERS FROM WHICH AN OBSERVER CAN

RESTRUCTURE A LIST OF POSITIONS AND MOMENTUMS

OF ALL THE PARTICLES THAT CONTAINS A KNOWN

THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEM. A MICROSTATE IS A SET OF

POSITIONS AND MOMENTUMS OF ENERGY THAT COMPRISES

A THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEM. SO THEREFORE, LIFE IS NOT

“SOMETHING” ABSTRACT, BUT AN ENERGY STATE (A SET OF

POSITIONS AND MOVEMENTS OF THE ENERGY) THAT

ORGANIZES MATTER INTO AN ASSEMBLY ABLE OF

CAPTURING ENERGY FROM THE ENVIRONMENT FOR

DELAYING THE INCREASE OF ITS LOCAL ENTROPY.

BY SAYING THAT LIFE IS SOMETHING ABSTRACT IS

MERELY PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC PHILOSOPHY. (PLEASE,

READ BIOTIC FIELD)

 

IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE STOP A MINUTE TO EXPLAIN

SOME CONCEPTS INCLUDED IN MY DEFINITION OF LIFE:

 

  1. DELAY IS NOT REVERSION. MANY AUTHORS SAY THAT

LIFE CONSISTS OF INVERTING THE SECOND LAW OF

THERMODYNAMICS. BUT THAT KIND OF ALLEGATIONS

ARE ABSOLUTELY FALSE. THE SECOND LAW OF

THERMODYNAMICS REFERS THAT THE ENERGY ALWAYS

TRANSFERS FROM A SPACE OR SYSTEM WITH HIGH

DENSITIES OF ENERGY TOWARD OTHER SPACES OR

SYSTEMS WITH A SMALLER DENSITY OF ENERGY. 

THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT OCCURS IN LIFE.  THE

UNIVERSE WILL ALWAYS HAVE A HIGHER DENSITY

OF ENERGY THAN THAT OF BIOSYSTEMS.  IF IT NOT

WERE THUS, LIFE WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE IN THE UNIVERSE. 

 

THE CONFUSION SURGES WHEN WE SUBORDINATE TO

OUR CONSIDERATION THE PROPERTIES CORRELATED

WITH ENTROPY, FOR EXAMPLE, THE ORDER AND

COMPLEXITY OF A SYSTEM; HOWEVER, TO BE ORDERED,

OR TO BE COMPLEX, THE BIOSYSTEM SHOULD TRANSFER

DISORDER TOWARD THE UNIVERSE AND TAKE COMPLEXITY

FROM THE UNIVERSE. THUS, THERE IS NOT VIOLATION OR

REVERSION OF THE SECOND LAW. WHENEVER THE

BIOSYSTEM IS MORE DISORDERED, THE UNIVERSE AND

ITS DISORDER WILL BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE MOST

DISORDERED SYSTEM TOWARD THE LESS DISORDERED

SYSTEM, I.E., TO THE UNIVERSE.

 

WHAT OCCURS IN THE BIOSYSTEMS IS A DELAY IN THE

DIFFUSION OR DISPERSION OF THEIR INTERNAL ENERGY;

BUT THAT INTERNAL ENERGY IS NEVER TRANSFERRED

FROM A STRUCTURE WITH LOWER DENSITY OF ENERGY

TOWARD ANOTHER WITH A HIGHER DENSITY OF ENERGY,

 WHICH REALLY WOULD BE A VIOLATION TO THE MANIFESTATION

OF THE ENTROPY. HOWEVER, NATURE DOES NOT WORK IN

THIS WAY.

 

2. STATE REFERS TO A POSITION, MOVEMENT AND DENSITY

OF THE ENERGY TRANSPORTED BY PARTICLES, HERE, OF

THOSE PARTICLES THAT DETERMINE THE FUNCTION OF

DISTRIBUTION OF THE ENERGY THROUGH INTERVALS OF

DEFERRAL OF THE DISPERSION OF THAT ENERGY IN A

BIOSYSTEM; FOR EXAMPLE, FERMIONS (PARTICLES WITH

AN INTRINSIC ANGULAR MOMENT WHICH  SPIN IS EQUAL

TO AN ODD FRACTION (1/2, 3/2, 5/2, ETC.) BY WHICH THOSE

PARTICLES SUBMIT TO THE PAULI’S EXCLUSION PRINCIPLE,

THAT IS TO SAY THAT THOSE PARTICLES CANNOT OCCUPY

THE SAME QUANTUM STATE; FOR EXAMPLE, ELECTRONS,

QUARKS, LEPTONS, PROTONS, NEUTRONS, ETC.) AND

BOSONS (PARTICLES THAT HAVE AN ENTIRE SPIN [0, 1, 2, 3, ETC.] 

BY WHICH THEY DO NOT OBEY THE PAULI’S EXCLUSION

PRINCIPLE AND CAN OCCUPY THE SAME QUANTUM STATE;

FOR EXAMPLE, PHOTONS, GLUONS, ETC.).

 

3. QUANTUM ENERGY IS THE SUM OF THE KINETIC AND

POTENTIAL ENERGY OF A PARTICLE, WHICH CAN BE A

FERMION OR A BOSON.

 

4. DENSITY OF ENERGY IS THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY STORED

IN A GIVEN SYSTEM OR IN A SPACE REGION BY UNIT OF

VOLUME OR MASS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE LIQUID HYDROGEN

STORES AN ENERGY DENSITY OF 120 MJoules/Kg. ONE

KILOGRAM OF GLUCOSE STORES 17 MJoules/Kg OF ENERGY

(4.01 nutritional Kcal/g).

 

5. A SPONTANEOUS PROCESS IS A PROCESS IN WHICH

THE FREE ENERGY ALWAYS IS DISPERSED TOWARD MORE

POTENTIAL MICROSTATES. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF IT,

WHEN TALKING ABOUT LIFE, BIOLOGISTS REFER TO A

NO-SPONTANEOUS OR AN AUTONOMOUS STATE.

THEREFORE, WHEN A SPONTANEOUS PROCESS OCCURS,

IT DOES NOT NEED THE INPUT OF ENERGY FROM THE

SURROUNDINGS.

 

6. ENERGY IS UNDERSTOOD AS THE CAPABILITY TO DO

JOB. THEREFORE, ENERGY IS A FUNCTION OF THE

QUANTIFIABLE PROPERTIES OF ANY GIVEN SYSTEM.

 

7. THE INTERNAL ENERGY OF A SYSTEM IS THE ENERGY

ASSOCIATED TO THE MOLECULES MOVEMENT IN A

THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEM, TO BE PRECISE, TO THE

TEMPERATURE OF THAT SYSTEM. IN A TRANSFER OF

ENERGY, THE INTERNAL ENERGY IS THE ENERGY THAT

HAS PASSED THROUGH THE REAL OR IMAGINARY

BOUNDARIES OF A SYSTEM. IN A LIVING ORGANISM,

CELLS HAS CELL MEMBRANES OR CELL WALLS THAT

ARE THE REAL BOUNDARIES OF THE SYSTEM. INTO

EACH EUKARYOTE CELL, ORGANELLES -LIKE MITOCHONDRIA

AND CHLOROPLASTS- HAVE OUTER MEMBRANES THAT

CONSTITUTE THE REAL LIMITS OF THOSE THERMODYNAMIC

SYSTEMS.

 

I HAVE AVOIDED MENTIONING THE WORDS “CHAOTICALLY

AND “RANDOMLY” IN THE DEFINITION OF INTERNAL ENERGY

BECAUSE THE MOVEMENTS OF THE MOLECULES ADHERE

TO THE FUNDAMENTAL LAWS, WHICH ARE MATHEMATICAL

NOTIONS OF NATURAL PHENOMENA THAT CAN BE

EXPRESSED THROUGH FORMULAE; THEREFORE, THE

MOVEMENTS OF THE MOLECULES ARE NOT CHAOTIC

NEITHER RANDOMIZED. A MICROSCOPIC VARIATION IN

THE INITIAL CONDITIONS CAN RUN A GREAT CHANGE IN

THE TRAJECTORIES OF THE PARTICLES.

 

8. I ALSO ALLUDED TO THE CONCEPT “INTERVAL” IN MY

DEFINITION OF LIFE. INTERVAL IS A SUBSET OF STATES

SITUATED BETWEEN AN INITIAL AND A FINAL STATE.

 

9. THE ENERGY IN THE BIOTIC STATE IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO

BE QUANTIZED BY STUDYING THE TRAJECTORIES OF

FERMIONS AND/OR BOSONS FOR THE DURATION OF

TRANSFER AND STORAGE OF ENERGY AT ISOLATED

MAIN INTERVALS. FOR EXAMPLE, INVESTIGATING

PARTICLES AND WAVE-FUNCTIONS ONE BY ONE:

 

WHEN WE DEAL WITH PARTICLES THAT ARE THE

CONSTITUENTS OF MATTER, WE ONLY CAN STUDY

AN INDEPENDENT PARTICLE, POSITION, OR MOVEMENT

AT A GIVEN TIME; SIMILARLY, WHEN STUDYING THE

PROCESSES OF TRANSFER AND STORAGE OF THE

ENERGY WE CAN ONLY ANALYZE A SINGLE FUNCTION

AT A GIVEN TIME. WHEN WE COMPLETE THE STUDY OF

EACH PARTICLE AND EACH FUNCTION, WE INTEGRATE

THE WHOLE TO FORMULATE THE COMPLETE PROCESS;

FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN WE STUDY THE PROCESSES OF

TRANSQUANTUM THERMAL BIOTRANSFER (CELL

RESPIRATION AND PHOTOSYNTHESIS). (Please,

read the page on Biotic Field).

 

We are close to know how Earth was at their origins, we have a

well-structured setting, but when we try to reproduce it

experimentally we see that the theory is untrue. The uttermost

that we have achieved in our labs has been the recreation of

some lifeless structures called protobionts, microspheres or

coacervates.

 

Some Biologists have gone further by destroying a cell and then

placing all the cell material into an artificial environment, similar to

primitive Earth’s environment; but the results have been always an

inert mushy jumble. Others have killed a cell, but preserving the

fundamental cell structures. Latter, they have extracted the genetic

material from the dead cell and replaced it with the genetic material

from a yet living cell... again, the new cell remains dead. Other

biologists have destroyed many cells from which the genetic

material has been retired, then they have placed all the before-living

material into a flask and added the genetic material of living cells

from the same species… nothing, not a living cell have risen from

this salad. Others have added the whole muddle up into a flask

and then have submitted it to high voltage, radiation UV, hot

volcanic ash, heat, methane, etc., but there has not even

happened the emergence of a living cell.

 

What does it mean?  Simply, it does mean that life is a factor

another than the structure and that life is “something” experienced

by very specialized structures that cannot be generated at any

laboratory, that life does not appear miraculously nor by miraculous

“events” and that life cannot be transferred, induced, or conferred to

specialized structures. We clearly see that life is “something” that

only can be preserved and continued by those structures that have

derived from other living structures (biogenesis).

 

Now you can see that it is not correct to use the term “life” when

referring to living beings. It is clear that, without living beings, life

could not be experienced, and vice versa, an organism cannot be

alive if it cannot state a set of intervals that delay the flow of its

internal entropy. A corpse is an inert being; it is an organic thing

and a thermodynamic system, but it is lifeless.

 

Another thing that we can perceive from the lines above is that life

happened in our Solar System as a once incident. We know that life

is a thermal state of specialized molecular array. In addition, we

know that life holds intimately to the route of time and, consequently,

to entropy and irreversibility. This cannot be a miracle, neither a

magic performance, but a natural phenomenon. Finally, we know that the

life was generated by the confluence of particles in the intersection

of two or more collaborating waves in a concrete field of energy.

From here, we can infer that life is an energy state of some kind

of specialized organic matter (thermodynamic biosystems).

 

Then, life is an energy state that occurs in specialized molecular

structures that obliges these macrostructures to obtain and operate

energy from their environment to maintain a maximum state of

no-equilibrium transferring available microstates towards their

environment, increasing the global number of possible microstates

in the Universe.

 

Life, as a quantum energy state, continues thanks to the replication

of the structures that exhibit it. Life is continued, not multiplied. Living

beings are what multiply. Life does not evolve, what evolve are the

living beings.

 

The reason for their reluctance to change the semantics of life is that

a vast part of scientific documents, almost all the text books and all

the reports from Scientific Institutions would have to be modified

substantially, as well as the structure of Space Administrations that

seek for “life” on other worlds, when actually they are searching for

“living beings”. It is just a usual dilemma. Most academics do not

want to accept that life is a basic “function” (not a "thing"). They are

not ready to give the next step to recognize that they had not

"perceived it before”… that life has a scientific explanation.

 

 

ENERGY FIELDS AND BIOSYSTEMS

 

The meaning of Biotic Field is restricted exclusively to

which we already have demonstrated by means of

experimentation on the exercise of serious disciplines,

like Biophysics and Molecular Cell Biology. The concept

is like this:

 

Biotic Field is an Electrodynamic Field experienced by the

biomembranes of prokaryotic cells and the biomembranes

of the mitochondria and chloroplasts in eukaryotic cells,

which is due to the effects exerted by the fluctuations of

the Electromagnetic Field on in-motion electrically charged

particles (Electrons, Positrons and Protons) at such

biomembranes.

 

Summarizing the previous concept: Biotic field is an

Electrodynamic Field experienced by the biomembranes

of prokaryotic cells and by the biomembranes of

mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotic cells.

 

An Electrodynamic Field is any field generated by the

effects of the fluctuations of the Electromagnetic Fields

on in-motion charged particles. The term talks about the

effects of the fluctuations of the Electromagnetic Fields on

the behavior of electrically charged particles.

 

There are not such furtive particles, like "biotons", implied

in the life energy state. If this were the case, then “biotons”

would not be another thing but the same photons behaving

on an exceptional and unnatural way. Nevertheless, the

photons implied in the life energy state do not behave

differently from photons implied in all the known natural

processes. In addition, no particle implied in the life energy

state displays capricious behaviors: No particle implied in

the state of life displays an unusual behavior.

 

The term "field" in Classic Physics means: The exact amount

of energy so that some physical processes occur spontaneously,

which implies a potential for a physical phenomenon occurs.

Also, it is defined as the assignation of a quantity to each

point of the space; for example, the exact amount of energy

in a point of the gravity field, the amount of energy in a point

of the false void, the amount of energy in any point of an

electrodynamic field, the density of energy in any of the

fields of Higgs, the amount of energy assigned for the

ELECTROCHEMICAL GRADIENT in a space of a

biomembrane, etc.

 

The Biotic Field includes the amount, position, and

momentum of the energy used by a thermodynamic

biosystem when experiencing life. [Momentum is the

product of mass and velocity (p=m.v)].

 

Then, when I talk about the Biotic Field, I allude simply

o the exact amount of energy assigned to a given space

where life can be experienced by biosystems. Evidently,

the biotic field only applies to points in the Universe where

living beings can subsist. The subsistence of a biosystem

depends on the conditions at that point of the space and

on the molecular array of the own biosystem. When we

assign an amount of energy for an Electrochemical Gradient

to be formed we are applying the concepts of the “Truly New

Physics”. Now, we biologists have the benefit that we have

not to look for special particles acting on the Biotic Field.

Fortunately, Biologists know well what kind of particles are

implied in life. Perhaps, in the future we will discover how

pions, bosons, Higgs’ particles, and other particles behave

in the Biotic Field and we have a complete quantum theory

of life; in the meantime, we must adjust ourselves simply

o which it has been verified experimentally so far. Biology

has been constructed on a basis of strict realism.

 

In order to be alive, a thermodynamic system must

maintain a quasi-stable set of microstates in order that

it can delay the diffusion of its local energy towards more

available microstates at the Gravity Field (where all the

heat released through the transformations from one form

of energy into another form disperses to). From this fact,

you can distinguish that the Biotic Field exists as a unit

different, but not independent, from the Fundamental

Fields of nature, on this case, from the Gravity Field.

The amount of energy assigned to the Biotic Field is

not the same amount assigned to the Electromagnetic

Field of a conductor, etc.

 

Considering all the thermodynamic systems, from

Archaeobacteria to the mitochondria and chloroplasts

of the eukaryotic cells, the density of the energy

available for life, released by the passage of a proton

through a specialized biomembrane, varies from 5 to

12 kcal/mol. This amount of energy is enough to produce

an electrochemical gradient of 220 mV (0.22 V), which is

an Electrodynamic Field, or a Biotic Field, if we consider

that it occurs on a living system. One photon carries an

amount of energy near to 52 kcal/mol. Chlorophyll makes

use of 9.2 kcal/mol per each photon absorbed, which is the

amount of energy required for the shift of an electron to

one higher level of energy (chlorophyll requires of twelve

photons to produce one mole of Glucose). The lasting

42.8 kcal/mol from one photon are released to the

environment in the form of thermal energy (heat).

On the other hand, the mitochondria require an amount

of about 7.4 kcal/mol of energy to start up the

electrochemical machinery of life.

 

By definition, a Biotic Field is an Electrodynamic Field

which biomembranes experience. Electrodynamic Field is

any field produced by motion charged particles and by

changing Electromagnetic Fields. The concept refers to

the effects of the fluctuations of the Electromagnetic

Field on the behavior of motion electrically-charged

particles. There are not living beings where there is not

Biotic Field. For example, Mars has the characteristics

needed to give support to microorganisms, from the

extremophiles variety, which could face temperatures

under zero. The problem on Mars resides on both its

atmosphere and its soil, which have chemical substances

that impede the synthesis of biomolecules, therefore, it is

implausible the existence of living beings on Mars. To date,

we have not found on Mars the smallest indication on

thermodynamic systems that could be linked to the

Biotic Field. Ecologists know what I am referring to.

 

THE AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE ENERGY -ASSIGNED

TO A THREE DIMENSIONAL SPACE AT A GIVEN TIME-

USED BY LIVING BEINGS TO MAINTAIN ITS

THERMODYNAMIC AUTONOMY AND CONTAINED

BY LIGHT PHOTONS, IS A BIOTIC FIELD. THE

QUANTIFICATION OF THE INTERNAL ENERGY IN

THE BIOSYSTEMS WAS DEDUCED THANKS TO THE

QUANTUM PHYSICS, IT WAS CALCULATED BY MEANS

OF GIBBS’ EQUATIONS, MOLDED THROUGH THE GIBBS’

LAW AND EXPERIMENTALLY DEMONSTRATED BY

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY.

 

 

WHAT MAKES US TO BE ALIVE? 

 

At the origin of life, a cloud of particles generated by our Sun

elapsed through an electromagnetic hole and each particle was

reemitted toward an assembly of waves in their point of cooperation.

The particles so attracted collided with all types of matter previously

ordered by the electromagnetic force through all the Solar System.

The collision between wave-particles and the ordinary matter

provoked different macrostates in correspondence with the

nature of the molecular arrangement of ordinary matter.

 

Some arrangements of matter constituted thermodynamic

systems which macrostates did not permit that the energy

state were maintained by themselves. This condition limited

the property of those systems to escape from the real increase

in the number of their available microstates, acquiring

spontaneously a thermal state of equilibrium.

 

Another specific organization of matter had a macrostate

in which the energy fluctuation could be maintained because

that system owned multiple inner structures that favored,

sequentially, the acquisition of photons that held transitorily

the continuum of the primary energy fluctuation.

 

This class of thermodynamic system, determined by the

electromagnetic field, acquired the capability of delaying the

increment of microstates that would take it to a thermal state

of equilibrium (succession of intervals in the spontaneous

flow of thermal equilibrium). Consequently, the energy state

prompted that thermodynamic system to capture photons for

retarding temporarily the spontaneous increment of local entropy

inherent to that system, increasing with it the global entropy of the

Universe.

 

It is that energy fluctuation what makes us to be alive. As long as

living beings have the capacity of capturing photons that are able

of being reemitted toward the harmonic points of their corresponding

waves, we will be alive.

 

At the moment in which we were unable to retain that capacity,

life in us will stop, that is to say, the energy state will jump from

the living matter toward another not quantity of energy needed

for life of energy. The latter would not be possible if the energy

state were not subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics,

therefore, upon dying the biosystem, its biotic energy state will

jump from a field of high density toward another low density field,

where -by the position and the nature of movements of the kinetic

energy- it would no longer prompt to other systems to set intervals

in the ordinary flow of thermal equilibrium.

 

Some people have dared me to define life without relating it to

weird "energy states". Well, this is an easier task than to relate

it to an energy state. Here it goes:

 

Life is the energy state in some thermodynamic systems that

compels them to establish a stable succession of no-spontaneous

intervals in the trajectory of diffusion or dispersion of energy.

 

 

TO LIVE OR NOT TO LIVE: THAT WAS THE QUESTION

 

The living thermodynamic systems maintain a cuasi-stable amount

of microstates that had to be increased spontaneously (change of

entropy), temporarily expanding the increase of their local entropy.

Nonliving thermodynamic systems also can maintain a limited number

of available microsystems. Nevertheless, in nonliving thermodynamic

systems there are not internal operators that carry out this action,

whereas the living systems have a series of processes in cascade

that operate from their internal system and maintain their quantum

energy state within a thermal no equilibrium. Let's determine if viruses

and Erythrocytes are living beings or not:

 

VIRUSES

 

For example, viruses. Viruses are microscopic particles formed by a

chain of DNA or of RNA, wrapped by a capsule made of proteins or

lipoproteins.

 

Viruses lack of a cytosol, organelles, autonomous movements, they

do not eat, nor sleep, not carry out active exchanges of energy with

the environment, neither they carry out metabolic processes; they

only reproduce themselves and evolve under extremely concrete

conditions. These extremely concrete conditions occur only

when the viruses invade a living cell. If they are not in contact

with living cells, they cannot reproduce themselves, neither evolve.

Are viruses living beings or not?

 

No, viruses are not living beings, but organized particles that can

reproduce themselves only when are connected with a living being.

Viruses possess a genetic material with all the information necessary

to produce complete copies of them, but they can do this only when

they are in contact with living species. Otherwise, they cannot

reproduce themselves or evolve.

 

From here, we pertinently conclude that neither the DNA, neither

RNA, neither proteins are life because if it were so, then viruses

would be alive also when they were not invading a living organism.

(Please, read Biotic Field)

 

ERYTHROCYTES

 

Erythrocytes, or red blood cells, are corpuscular elements of

chordates’ blood. The main function of erythrocytes is to contain

a protein that transports Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide called Hemoglobin.

 

The erythrocytes of mammalians cannot reproduce themselves,

they do not carry out other metabolic processes and they do not

contain genetic materials (neither DNA neither RNA). Erythrocytes

are produced from cells of the marrow called Myeloblasts, which lost

their genetic material when they reach a youthful step called Normoblast.

 

The life of an erythrocyte fluctuates between 90 and 120 days and

they should be destroyed when get old by phagocytes named

reticuloendothelial cells.

 

The cell membrane of the erythrocytes does not differ of the cell

membranes of other types of cells, but its cytosol has gelatinous

consistency. Are erythrocytes living cells or not?

 

It cannot die what already is dead. Erythrocytes are alive after they

have lost their genetic material and many of their organelles.

Erythrocytes die four months after they suffer the loss of their

genetic material. Then, life is not the organization of the organelles,

neither any of the molecules with the ability of reproducing themselves.

 

Yes, erythrocytes are living cells; therefore, differing from what we

thought some years ago, erythrocytes experience also the process

of programmed cell death, better known as apoptosis. Then yes, it is

unexpected that a cell without the so-called molecules of life can

live through almost four months.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

From the previous examples, we infer that life does not reside

neither in DNA and RNA molecules, nor in autocatalytic proteins,

but that life is experienced by biomembranes.

 

From the previous examples, we infer that life is not the organization

of the system. Erythrocytes do not have a complex cell organization

as other cells of the organism have; however, erythrocytes are alive.

This obeys to the preservation of their cell membranes. Hence, it is

evident that life is an energy state experienced by biomembranes.

 

It is also evident that the molecules of nucleic acids are not living

molecules, although they have the fundamental function of

reproduction of the biosystems, the transmission of characteristics

from a biosystem to its progeny and the control of the metabolic

processes in biosystems

 

 

PROTON MOTIVE FORCE (PMF), THE TRACK OF LIFE

 

One of the most serious difficulties that we have faced in the

search of living beings out of Earth has been the recognition

of living beings similar to terrestrial organisms. Given that the

Physical Laws are the same everywhere in the known Universe,

and that all the matter contained by the known Universe is formed

by the same particles, we can assume precise methods for the

unmistakable recognition of non terrestrial living forms.

 

To be sure that anything found on other planets is or not a living

being, we could try to detect the Proton Motive Force (PMF). PMF

is a sequence of alterations in the membrane potential that happen

across the transference of energy, since it is captured until it is stored

in a complex molecule, for example, a molecule of Glucose.

PMF occurs when electrons are transported by ATP molecules

impelling to the protons to leap towards the membranes’ outer surface

of some cell organelles, as chloroplasts or mitochondria, or towards

the outer surface of the cell membranes in bacteria.

 

After some of my conferences on Exobiology, some persons have

asked for a plausible method for detecting the Proton Motive Force.

 

One of the easiest forms to recognize living beings on

extraterrestrial environments would reside on the detection

of Adenosine Monophosphate (AMP), Adenosine Diphosphate

(ADP), Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), Nicotinamide Adenine

Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADP), or NADPH by means of ultra-

finely tuned photometers built-in the robotic probes exploring

planetary soils. It would be obvious that any system possessing

those complex compounds would experience the PMF, and

consequently, that system would be alive.

 

Another way, still simpler than the previous one, would be by

producing bubbles of Oxygen in a viscous cell culture media

which had been enriched with soil of the explored planet. If that

soil were the habitat of aerobic bacteria, then these would

accumulate around the bubbles of Oxygen, which we could

monitor by means of a strategic and exhaustive microscopic

observation.

 

DISSIPATIVE SYSTEMS

 

The dissipative thermodynamic systems are systems in a state

of no-equilibrium related to the phenomenon of a spontaneous

emergence.

 

In this sense, organisms are dissipative thermodynamic systems,

the same as crystals, hurricanes, solar spots, the red spot of Jupiter,

chemical reaction clocks, etc.

 

The dissipative thermodynamic structures are thermodynamic

systems in a state of thermodynamic non-equilibrium in which

the instabilities can generate a coherent global behavior,

whenever certain parameters be maintained into the critical limits.

 

However, the energy fluctuation experimented by the dissipative

inert thermodynamic systems is not the same energy fluctuation

experimented by the dissipative living thermodynamic structures.

 

Where do we see the difference? The difference resides in the format

used by the dissipative thermodynamic systems for establishing a

series of intervals that block the increase of their local entropy. While

inert dissipative thermodynamic systems do it spontaneously, the

living dissipative thermodynamic systems do it autonomously.

 

Another difference is that, although the input of energy is

spontaneous for both classes of dissipative thermodynamic

systems, in inert dissipative thermodynamic systems it does not

take place a non-spontaneous post-manipulation of the energy,

while in the living dissipative thermodynamic systems occurs a

specific directionality in the transference of the energy which

permits that the energy be used for the preservation of a pattern

system from which more pattern systems will be generated. Like

this, the living dissipative thermodynamic systems give continuity

to the energy state that permits them to block temporarily the

diffusion or dispersion of their internal energy.

 

However, some inert dissipative thermodynamic systems can grow,

even other systems can grow and self-replicate, as if they were

living dissipative thermodynamic systems. We say that the inert

self-replicating dissipative thermodynamic systems experiment a

simple self-replicating pattern, while the living dissipative

thermodynamic systems experiment a complex self-replicating pattern.

 

From here, we could think that we would be able to differentiate,

with a higher precision, a living dissipative thermodynamic system

from an inert dissipative thermodynamic system. Then again,

complex self-replication pattern can occur in inert self-replicating

templates, for example in prions, viruses, autocatalytic proteins and

ribozymes, and all of these structures cannot be considered as living

dissipative thermodynamic systems because the post-manipulation

of the energy for self-replication occurs spontaneously, not

autonomously as it occurs in living dissipative thermodynamic

systems.

 

Subsequently, we conclude that the unique demonstrable difference

between living dissipative thermodynamic systems and inert dissipative

thermodynamic systems is the autonomy or the non-spontaneity in

the directional post-manipulation of the energy -which is captured

spontaneously by both kinds of dissipative thermodynamic

systems- experimented only by the living self-replicating

thermodynamic systems.