Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What selected the bio-molecules

The extremely low probabilities for the selection of bio-molecules from a super-astrophysical number of alternatives represents one of the bottleneck problems of biology relying on the prevailing view about biochemistry. The notion of braid could resolve this problem.

Suppose that the presence of braids distinguishes between living and dead matter, that the four nucleotides are mapped to colored braid strands (that is to 2 quarks + 2 anti-quarks), and that a given amino-acid is mapped in a non-deterministic manner to one of the 3-braids associated with the DNA triplets coding for it. Braids could be associated besides DNA, amino-acids, and lipids also to other bio-molecules and define more general analogs of genetic codes as correspondences between bio-molecules able to react.

The implication would be that the step of catalytic reactions bringing together the catalyst and reactants would occur by a temporary reduction of Planck constant only for subsets of bio-molecules connected by braid strands and the pattern of braid strands involved would define the geometro-dynamical pattern of the reaction. The outcome would be a selection of very restricted subsets of bio-molecules able to form reaction networks and of reaction pathways. This would imply Darwinian selection of subsets of bio-molecules able to co-exist and dramatically enhance the probability for the emergence of life as we know it.

One challenge is to predict what kind of braids can begin from a given bio-molecule, say nucleotide or amino-acid. The physicist's guess would be that the (electromagnetic only?) interaction energy between bio-molecule and given pattern of wormhole contacts having quark and anti-quark at its throats should select the preferred braids as minima of the interaction energy. How closely the presence of hydrogen bonds (and of conjectured "half hydrogen bonds") relates to this is also an interesting question.

For the model of DNA as topological quantum computer see the chapter DNA as Topological Quantum Computer of "Genes and Memes".


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