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*Particles to biological cells?*

  1. Feb 6, 2010 #1

    p.p

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    Does anyone know where I can get information on how particles such and quarks/lepton that form atoms, atoms to molecules and molecules to cellular life.?

    What area of physics is based on the area of study and can evolution of biological organism be traced?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2010 #2
    Any intro physics book with 1000 pages will give you the path from quarks to molecules, if you don't care about the math. From molecules to life you stop doing physics, and people who claim otherwise are selling snake oil.

    Atoms don't evolve in the Darwinian sense. Molecules are already more problematic since some viruses are not much more then very large molecules.

    There is a lot of theoretical work done in non equilibrium thermodynamics, but people who take this work as serious models for biological systems need to have their head examined.
     
  4. Feb 6, 2010 #3

    Doug Huffman

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    Virus range from four proteins (themselves 'large' molecules) (10^6 Dalton) to more than a hundred proteins (10^8 Dalton). That they are arguably alive, even the smallest, makes them very much more than merely large molecules.

    I note that phage T4 has a 1/300 DNA copy error rate(!) apropos a discussion elsewhere here.
     
  5. Feb 6, 2010 #4

    p.p

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    ok... Im thinking that there has to be a connection from quarks to molecules that forms biological life and from this initial step has to kick start the process of Darwinian selection.! Are you saying that since the big bang, that this was the process de novo?
     
  6. Feb 7, 2010 #5
    I am not sure if I know what you mean by "the process de novo".

    Quarks have little to do with life. The universe of today is frozen into atoms if we would heat everything to temperatures and pressures of the big bang we would have the same quark soup again. We could go back and forth as we like. There is no Darwinian evolution in it.

    There is no consensus on how life starts, or how to define it without pointing at things on earth that are alive. But quarks have nothing to do with it. They just supply the atoms.
     
  7. Feb 7, 2010 #6
    Maybe nothing obviously or intuitively or practically calculable, but if life is an emergent property, how can it have nothing at all to do with what it emerges from?
     
  8. Feb 7, 2010 #7

    p.p

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    To be more specific, can we observe and possibly calculate in any way how atoms behave in cell and make some predictions how they will change with an evolving organism? eg, The evolution of vision is the compound and compacting of light sensitive patch(opsin proteins). With this, Photons and the opsin protein symbiotically lived to form an eye? Can we connect the relationship between atoms that make up for example the opsin protein and the photon and observe the behaviour that results in Darwinian evolution?
     
  9. Feb 7, 2010 #8
    No, this cannot be calculated and wont be possible for a very very long time.
    No, photons don't evolve or live in symbiosis.

    There is no real physics path into evolutionary development. Please ask your questions in the Biology forum.
     
  10. Feb 7, 2010 #9

    p.p

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    So quarks are quarks, photons are photons and they have never changed their properties since the time of the big bang?
     
  11. Feb 7, 2010 #10
    Yes, no one has found evidence for the opposite.
     
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