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SCIENTIFIC INSIGHT: Vladislava Magaletskaya on the new physical theory of life

SCIENTIFIC INSIGHT: Vladislava Magaletskaya on the new physical theory of life
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Vladislava Magaletskaya, vice president of the SigmaBleyze investment fund

 

HUXLEЎ: Which of the latest science news do you think is the most interesting? What makes it important?

I believe that the most interesting and important recent scientific discovery is the theory of Jeremy Ingland, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “A New Physical Theory of Life.

He proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy induces matter to acquire life-like physical properties. We all have the same questions, “Who are we?” and “Where did we come from?”

From the point of view of physics, there is one significant difference between living things and inanimate clusters of carbon atoms: the former are generally much better at capturing energy from the environment and dissipating it as heat.

Jeremy Ingland derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this ability. The formula shows: when a group of atoms is driven by an external energy source (e.g., the sun or a chemical fuel) and surrounded by a thermal bath (e.g., the ocean or the atmosphere), it will often gradually rearrange itself to dissipate more and more energy.

This may mean that, under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires a key physical attribute associated with life.. “You start with a random cluster of atoms, and if you shine the light on it long enough, it shouldn’t be surprising that you get a plant,” Ingland said.

I also believe that the most structured and unique is the structure of DNA, which essentially allows for “extra information”. And I’m sure that as the decades go by, humanity will learn to use this feature to improve its species.

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