Can a Molecule Be “Intelligent”? Unexpected Connections between Physics and Biology

" It is important to look at the behaviour of a living system from the point of view of the biophysical paradigm. In fact, the chemical reactions, which allow us to understand how metabolic processes take place, are short-range and they are activated at a distance of one atomic or molecular diameter. 100,000 reactions/sec. take place in a cell, perfectly balanced in space and time, i.e. these happen at the right time and in the right place. So, it is chemically inexplicable how this can be possible, because it is absolutely necessary that molecules recognize each other at distances greater than a molecular diameter. The biophysical paradigm, through coherent resonance mechanisms, tries to explain how molecules can recognize each other “from afar”. It is a matter of beginning to understand that, probably, the same atoms and molecules are endowed with a kind of “intrinsic intelligence” that guides them in their interactions, and the key to understanding can only be of physical type. We can also hypothesize that a cellular information mechanism based on endogenous electromagnetic fields exists. In this way, DNA could play a role of in-out antenna, due to its double helix shape (resonant LC circuit). This paper speaks about these unexpected, but not too many, connections between Physics and Biology." {Credits 1}

" Molecular biology, considered the conceptual basis for medical science, tends to concentrate all its attention to the interaction between molecules following a sequential process. The pharmacological action is aimed at favoring or preventing chemical communication by acting selectively on the emitters, the messengers or the receptors, by acting on the adaptability of the structures (i.e. the “key” that enters the right “lock”)." {Credits 1}

" This rather complex action becomes even more complicated if we consider that not only the adaptability of the structure, but also the number of contacts between interacting molecules (speed of formation and dissociation) is important [6]." {Credits 1}

" We know that atoms and molecules (more or less “large”) in a living system are not electrically neutral but present an unbalanced electric charge (such as positively or negatively charged ions and protein binding sites) to allow the formation of chemical bonds. From classical physics we know that an electric charge in uniformly accelerated motion is home to electromagnetic fields and quantum physics helps us to understand that these electromagnetic fields manifest themselves through the presence of photons (also called “quanta of electromagnetic radiation”). In living systems photons are called biophotons." {Credits 1}

" We begin to sense that biophotonic communication between one cell and another and between themselves and their environment forms the foundation of resonance mechanisms, where the endogenous electromagnetic field is the activator of such mechanisms [8] [11] [14] - [20]." {Credits 1}

" Resonance is at the basis of cellular communication, hence the introduction of the biophysical paradigm which allows us to give a clear interpretation to molecular recognition that is extremely selective and harmonically synchronized in a living system, something that will not occur in a biochemical reactor." {Credits 1}

" As a result, also the so-called “lock and key” model finds an explanation that goes well beyond the “randomness” of ligand–receptor bonds, because of the interlocking of forms without any prior recognition that prepare the bond itself." {Credits 1}

" It is exactly on this initial base that a molecule becomes intelligent, because by resonating with physiological elements it interacts with, it is capable of identifying where to go and of recognising where it needs to act in order to either contrast an ongoing process or support a useful physiological action." {Credits 1}


" This leads to think that the double helix structure of DNA allows this super-molecule to behave like a proper electromagnetic input/output antenna, capable of “reading” and “retransmitting” information signals of the electromagnetic type which come from various districts of the cytoplasm [8] [31] [32] [33]." {Credits 1}

" Moreover, the absorption spectra of DNA in the so-called “far infrared” region (more than 10 - 15 μm) indicate low-frequency molecular movements linked to the flexibility and deformation capacity of the double helix structure, which can then be bound up in the approximately 5 μm of the cell nucleus. This also allows the antenna to generate bio-phonons, or low-frequency fluctuating elastic waves [34]." {Credits 1}

" The double helix structure as a transceiver antenna, combined with the deformability and flexibility of the structure [35], makes the DNA capable of encompassing an enormous range of frequencies and controlling the complexity of the cell in an extremely precise way. This lets the living system as a whole, as well as the component molecules, act like an intelligent structure capable of making decisions for its own (self-organization and self-regulation) based on exogenous and endogenous information flows." {Credits 1}

{Credits 1} 🎪 Paoli, G. (2022) Can a Molecule Be “Intelligent”? Unexpected Connections between Physics and Biology. Open Journal of Biophysics, 12, 234-244. doi: 10.4236/ojbiphy.2022.124011. © 2022 the Author(s) and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Last modified on 29-Oct-22

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