The idea of a code of life was perhaps not his most important contribution. He might well have influenced the later emergence of molecular biology as a member of the Bohr-network. The later outcome was the James Watson (Franklin, Crick) search for the genetic code with Pauling in pursuit, and the Cold Spring Harbor meetings.
However, his book, "What is Life", is much more than that. He also posed the dilemma that the complexity of life is not to be resolved by any mathematical formulation. The code itself is important, but not sufficient. The code has to be translated, so it is of evolutionary significance. There are archaic codes that may not even be expressed. Life involves the interaction of a living organism with an external environment that it has to engage in. It becomes a difference exercise for a multicellular, and multiorgan creature than for unicellular life. The environmental concerns are not minimal either - mountains, the deep sea, and sea level. There was much of physiology and biochemistry that was yet to be learned at the time he wrote.
Jose Eduardo de Salle Rosalino has made exceptionally astute comments on this...and related thoughts...
Frequently, I prefer to present my thoughts based upon a historical perspective the reason for that is not to present myself as a academic-peacock proud of its tail on the contrary is to use this perspective to indicate when scientific thoughts were moved away from previous track.
I cannot see energetic regulation in mammals as something that could be tackled without restoring correct understanding of homeostasis that is a regulation that has extracellular aspects in its regulatory mechanisms to be taken into account. Those external (extracellular) aspects are linked with the cell differentiated function while pure energetics is linked to intracellular aspects of regulation.
This is the main form to address differences found when muscles (heart, skeletal smooth) are compared or heart and liver are compared. Eventually, this are also the major reason why tumors are rare in one tissue and most common in others…
Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP
Metabolic Genomics & Pharmaceutics2015http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012BB0ZF0
Author, Curator and EditorLarry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP
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