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Hypothesis

Life’s Late Digital Revolution and Why It Matters for the Study of the Origins of Life

by 1,* and 2,*
1
Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA
2
Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Origin of Life)
The information contained in life exists in two forms, analog and digital. Analog information is manifest mainly in the differing concentrations of chemicals that get passed from generation to generation and can vary from cell to cell. Digital information is encoded in linear polymers such as DNA and RNA, whose side chains come in discrete chemical forms. Here, we argue that the analog form of information preceded the digital. Acceptance of this dichotomy, and this progression, can help direct future studies on how life originated and initially complexified on the primordial Earth, as well as expected trajectories for other, independent origins of complex life. View Full-Text
Keywords: origins of life; information; digital; genetic inheritance origins of life; information; digital; genetic inheritance
MDPI and ACS Style

Baum, D.A.; Lehman, N. Life’s Late Digital Revolution and Why It Matters for the Study of the Origins of Life. Life 2017, 7, 34. https://doi.org/10.3390/life7030034

AMA Style

Baum DA, Lehman N. Life’s Late Digital Revolution and Why It Matters for the Study of the Origins of Life. Life. 2017; 7(3):34. https://doi.org/10.3390/life7030034

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baum, David A., and Niles Lehman. 2017. "Life’s Late Digital Revolution and Why It Matters for the Study of the Origins of Life" Life 7, no. 3: 34. https://doi.org/10.3390/life7030034

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