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Bringing Physics and Chemistry to Life: from random walks to robust organization

Hans V. Westerhoff will put together the theoretical foundations of today’s biology in a comprehensive new theory, by researching and establishing connections between the various theoretical approaches in use. This will lead to a treatise accompanied by a new type of, ‘live’ i.e. simulations-assisted, book. On the one hand, these theoretical foundations come from the very special way that Life is organized, i.e. DNA with thousands of genes specifying almost one-on-one, all the processes in living cells. These processes then network intensely to produce Life’s functions, such as metabolism, running, and thinking. On the other hand, they derive from physics (e.g. the thermodynamic laws ruling bioenergetics) and chemistry (e.g. the properties of the enzymes that catalyze the processes). Systems of thousands of randomly chosen physical-chemical processes would be highly unstable and implode or explode in minutes, like Big Bangs. The networks of thousands of processes in living organisms are robust and stable, as a result of evolutionary selection of those processes. Learning about the biological, physical and chemical foundations of such a stable organization, should enable the new generation of scientists and medical doctors not only to understand Life but also to help work towards stable health, economic and political systems, however complex they may have to be.


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Journal Article

Goglia, Ilaria., Ewelina Węglarz‐Tomczak, Claudio Gioia, Yanhua Liu, Assunta Virtuoso, Marcella Bonanomi, Daniela Gaglio, Noemi Salmistraro, Ciro De Luca, Michele Papa, Lilia Alberghina, Hans V. Westerhoff and Anna Maria Colangelo. 2024. Fusion–fission–mitophagy cycling and metabolic reprogramming coordinate nerve growth factor (NGF)‐dependent neuronal differentiation. The FEBS Journal.


Related events

11 April 2024

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