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Life Is The Network, Not The Self


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Living networks are ancient, perhaps as old as life itself. Models and lab experiments on the chemical origin of life show that interacting networks of molecules beat self-replicating molecules in a Darwinian struggle. Many of the first fossilized cells of life on Earth lived in integrated bacterial stacks called stromatolites. Today, all major ecosystems — forests, coral reefs, grasslands, ocean plankton — are built on conversations between interdependent partners. Cut these conversations and the ecosystems fall apart. The first artificial cells also have a networked character. When scientists organize chemical reactions into arrays of tiny, interconnected compartments, life-like properties emerge: cycles of protein production, gradients of signaling chemicals, and the ability to maintain a steady internal state. Without the network, the homogeneous chemical soup lacks any tang of life.

The fundamental unit of biology is therefore not the "self," but the network. A maple tree is a plurality, its individuality a temporary manifestation of relationship.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Life Is The Network, Not The Self 680 laughin 04-Apr-17 23:36
Re: Life Is The Network, Not The Self 191 Eddie Larry 05-Apr-17 00:40
Re: Life Is The Network, Not The Self 185 Aine 06-Apr-17 11:51
Re: Life Is The Network, Not The Self 234 laughin 12-Apr-17 13:56


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