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Viral information.

Rohwer F, Barott K - Biol Philos (2012)

Bottom Line: Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations.This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature).Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 USA.

ABSTRACT
Viruses are major drivers of global biogeochemistry and the etiological agents of many diseases. They are also the winners in the game of life: there are more viruses on the planet than cellular organisms and they encode most of the genetic diversity on the planet. In fact, it is reasonable to view life as a viral incubator. Nevertheless, most ecological and evolutionary theories were developed, and continue to be developed, without considering the virosphere. This means these theories need to be to reinterpreted in light of viral knowledge or we need to develop new theory from the viral point-of-view. Here we briefly introduce our viral planet and then address a major outstanding question in biology: why is most of life viral? A key insight is that during an infection cycle the original virus is completely broken down and only the associated information is passed on to the next generation. This is different for cellular organisms, which must pass on some physical part of themselves from generation to generation. Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations. This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature). Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Illustration of Maxwell’s Demon and Landauer’s principle. The Demon/enzyme selectively picks “A” molecules with sufficient energy to react with reactant “B”, which leads to product “AB”. This process slightly cools the “A” population. This loss of heat is put back into the system by the surrounding Universe. During degradation/erasure of “AB”, “A” goes back into its population and this heat can be measured using methods like isothermal calorimetry
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Fig2: Illustration of Maxwell’s Demon and Landauer’s principle. The Demon/enzyme selectively picks “A” molecules with sufficient energy to react with reactant “B”, which leads to product “AB”. This process slightly cools the “A” population. This loss of heat is put back into the system by the surrounding Universe. During degradation/erasure of “AB”, “A” goes back into its population and this heat can be measured using methods like isothermal calorimetry

Mentions: Now consider a Maxwell’s Demon in a biochemical system (Fig. 2). At a certain temperature, the reactant molecules “A” have different velocities, as described by Boltzmann’s distribution. The fastest/hottest “A” molecules are on the right side of the distribution. For our purposes, the molecules above the activation energy (EA) are the ones with sufficient velocity to be active in a chemical reaction. Now imagine a Maxwell’s Demon that selectively picks “A” molecules within the EA population and passes them to a second reactant pool “B”. This creates the product and effectively traps both molecules in product “AB”. In doing so, the demon has increased the information of the system. When “AB” degrades into its components, “A” will re-enter the original population and heat it up.3 This increase in temperature is described by Landauer’s Principle (Landauer 1996; Toyabe et al. 2010).Fig. 2


Viral information.

Rohwer F, Barott K - Biol Philos (2012)

Illustration of Maxwell’s Demon and Landauer’s principle. The Demon/enzyme selectively picks “A” molecules with sufficient energy to react with reactant “B”, which leads to product “AB”. This process slightly cools the “A” population. This loss of heat is put back into the system by the surrounding Universe. During degradation/erasure of “AB”, “A” goes back into its population and this heat can be measured using methods like isothermal calorimetry
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3585991&req=5

Fig2: Illustration of Maxwell’s Demon and Landauer’s principle. The Demon/enzyme selectively picks “A” molecules with sufficient energy to react with reactant “B”, which leads to product “AB”. This process slightly cools the “A” population. This loss of heat is put back into the system by the surrounding Universe. During degradation/erasure of “AB”, “A” goes back into its population and this heat can be measured using methods like isothermal calorimetry
Mentions: Now consider a Maxwell’s Demon in a biochemical system (Fig. 2). At a certain temperature, the reactant molecules “A” have different velocities, as described by Boltzmann’s distribution. The fastest/hottest “A” molecules are on the right side of the distribution. For our purposes, the molecules above the activation energy (EA) are the ones with sufficient velocity to be active in a chemical reaction. Now imagine a Maxwell’s Demon that selectively picks “A” molecules within the EA population and passes them to a second reactant pool “B”. This creates the product and effectively traps both molecules in product “AB”. In doing so, the demon has increased the information of the system. When “AB” degrades into its components, “A” will re-enter the original population and heat it up.3 This increase in temperature is described by Landauer’s Principle (Landauer 1996; Toyabe et al. 2010).Fig. 2

Bottom Line: Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations.This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature).Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 USA.

ABSTRACT
Viruses are major drivers of global biogeochemistry and the etiological agents of many diseases. They are also the winners in the game of life: there are more viruses on the planet than cellular organisms and they encode most of the genetic diversity on the planet. In fact, it is reasonable to view life as a viral incubator. Nevertheless, most ecological and evolutionary theories were developed, and continue to be developed, without considering the virosphere. This means these theories need to be to reinterpreted in light of viral knowledge or we need to develop new theory from the viral point-of-view. Here we briefly introduce our viral planet and then address a major outstanding question in biology: why is most of life viral? A key insight is that during an infection cycle the original virus is completely broken down and only the associated information is passed on to the next generation. This is different for cellular organisms, which must pass on some physical part of themselves from generation to generation. Based on this premise, it is proposed that the thermodynamic consequences of physical information (e.g., Landauer's principle) are observed in natural viral populations. This link between physical and genetic information is then used to develop the Viral Information Hypothesis, which states that genetic information replicates itself to the detriment of system energy efficiency (i.e., is viral in nature). Finally, we show how viral information can be tested, and illustrate how this novel view can explain existing ecological and evolutionary theories from more fundamental principles.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus