Dethroning DNA

Biology is not my area of specialization, so I can’t render any professional judgement on where this is likely to go, but this could be significant.


Unless you have access to an academic library, the paper is behind a paywall, but there’s some commentary on it over at PLOS Blogs.

In my (partly informed) opinion, such a reconsideration of the role of DNA would be vastly more revolutionary than a few measurements that agree with certain cosmological theories—which themselves contain some not-at-all understood ad hoc bits—but fall short of ‘proving’ what the headlines say they do.

Then again, maybe this is all complete rubbish. We shall see.

UPDATE: Having read the first two pages, I’m a bit skeptical that what the authors are proposing – some sort of principle of least action – can be usefully applied to a biological system as a whole, for which I wouldn’t know where to start with creating a Lagrangian. The authors seem to gesture a lot at physics—look, symmetry breaking—while substituting fuzzy biological analogues in place of clearly defined concepts.