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Decoding Life

By : Arvind Bhagwath

Let me begin introduction from quotes of  "Bhagavad-Gita" which deals with the most sacred metaphysical science. In Gita, Lord Krishna said: The individual soul (Jiva, energy) in the body of living beings is the integral part of the universal Spirit (energy). The individual soul associates with the six sensory faculties perception and activates them. The inherent power of cognition and desire of Eternal Being (Spirit) is called the nature of Eternal Being. The creative power of Eternal Being (or Spirit) that causes manifestation of the living entity is called Karma (act). Any desire that arise in you (Jiva) that make you act is the due to the attraction from the Eternal Spirit. The action in you is due to the force from the main source of energy. 

So, What is Life?

Life can be defined as an energy inside a particular boundary. This energy helps metabolism to take place inside the boundary, metabolism helps to distribute energy and generate information. A genetic component carries information/energy to other energy boundary resulting a bi-product being created. This process repeats until the energy levels are transmitted or distributed to maintain the balance.

The energy level balance is the law of nature.

At any case, a intermittent or external energy source is required to excite a particular boundary with energy.

When we speak about external energy, the first thing we remember is Sun's energy. Yes. To some extent it is true. All the energy in animals, plants, oil, gas, and coal originally came from the suns radiation, captured through photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, some bacteria use the energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which cellular respiration converts into ATP, the "fuel" used by all living things. The conversion of unusable sunlight energy into usable chemical energy, is associated with the actions of the green pigment
chlorophyll. Most of the time, the photosynthetic process uses water and releases the oxygen that we absolutely must have to stay alive. The Glucose is used as food as well!

The overall reaction of this process as:

6H2O + 6CO2 + Sun's Energy ----------> C6H12O6+ 6O2

Animals are carbon dioxide producers that derive their energy from carbohydrates and other chemicals produced by plants by the process of photosynthesis.

Living things are composed primarily of water and organic compounds, enzymes are protein catalysts that carry out the chemical reactions of metabolism. All
chemical reactions require activation energy to break chemical bonds and begin the reaction.

When we speak about animal or plant cells, all cells have nucleus and this is the 'control centre' of the cell. It primarily is composed of again carbon (C),
hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sulfur (S) in some proteins (particularly enzymes). The nucleus contains nucleic acids, DNA, and
RNA, which in turn contain C, H, O, N, and P.

Human body or take it any animals or plants, they are made by following main elements : oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, Potassium, Sulfur, Chlorine, Sodium, Magnesium, Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Fluorine.

So finally it is these elements that act or react to form the life.

So, we need to study what makes them to act or react. Definitely, it is sure that it should be these atoms that absorb or emit energy from external source or create or break chemical bonds which together makes the cells, organs or body to act.

As we discussed above, for a life to exists, at any case, a intermittent or external energy source is required to excite a particular boundary, so let us study more about external source of energy. Let's begin with Sun's energy and the behaviour shown by elements in periodic table.

What are components of Sun's energy and what happens to atoms when they are hit by Solar radiation?

Solar radiation is radiant energy emitted by the sun from a nuclear fusion reaction that creates electromagnetic energy (Electromagnetic Wave).

 

 

The radiation from Sun results in Photoelectric effect on atoms. When an external electromagnetic radiation hits a atom, we see that electrons exhibits force by external radiation and gets exited.

If the magnetic force by the electro-magnetic radiation is too higher than that of force required for the electrons to spin around the nucleus, then the electrons are thrown out of axis as free electron.

The changes in electrons in atoms results chemical reactions to take place by creating/breaking bonds.

What normally happens to atoms when they are exited by external light radiation?

It is observed that Light from the sun hitting moon dust causes it to become charged through the photoelectric effect. The charged dust then repels itself and lifts off the surface of the Moon by electrostatic levitation.

So let us look this behavior by various elements present in earth.

In general, atoms are most stable when all of their orbital are occupied by two electrons unless disturbed by external energy. Isolated atoms, such as hydrogen
(H), carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and oxygen (O), have some orbitals that are not occupied by two electrons. For example, hydrogen is an atom that has a single
proton (its nucleus) and a single electron. The electron of the hydrogen atom is in a 1s orbital. Different types of atoms (e.g., oxygen and hydrogen) have very
different affinities for electrons. This differential affinity for electrons is demonstrated with different bonds or formation of Ions, covalent bond etc.

For instance: Sodium metal has tendency to lose electron for Sun's radiation and the ferric iron in the ocean is ultimate electron acceptor. I have taken Sodium, since we all know that sodium is present in great quantities in the earth's oceans as sodium chloride.
 

For more details, let us look at Periodic table below

 


The most alkali metals have lowest electro negativities (they tend to lose electrons). Atoms of high electro negativity (upper right nonmetals) tend to gain electrons.

The alkali metals, found in group 1 of the periodic table, are highly reactive metals that do not occur freely in nature. These metals have only one electron in their outer shell. Therefore, they are ready to lose that one electron in ionic bonding with other elements. Metalloids have properties of both metals and non-metals. Some of the metalloids, such as silicon and germanium, are semi-conductors which again show there affinity to light radiation. This is proved in semi-conductor technology and when we speak about Noble gases, they have 8 electrons in their outer shell, making them stable. These elements have an oxidation number of 0. This prevents them from forming compounds readily.

NOTE : 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of the six main elements : oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and then other elements that are phosphorus and then Potassium, Sulfur, Chlorine, Sodium, Magnesium, Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Fluorine.

Different types of atoms have very different affinities for electrons and Sun's radiation. If we take a look of elements in living organisms, we see it is these elements present in our body in which some are either electron donors and some are electron acceptors.

Each time when the atoms are exited by external source results in partial charges created. Giving the electrons and accepting the electrons, we have partial positive and partial negative charges and these interact with other partial positive and partial negative charges associated with other molecules that result in creation of bonds. These Bonds lead formation of Organic molecules.  And again, electrical asymmetries in these molecules would have resulted in further creation of complements or living cells and then again some of molecules in these living cells absorbs the external radiation and will try to stay stable state by transferring the energy to do something useful. Can we now call this balance of charges or electrical asymmetries as metabolism.

Even if we check out any living organism, we see that it is these electrochemical reactions happening for metabolism, transport of ions across membranes and growth.

But when did life first arise on Earth?

The Earth is thought to be approximately 4.6 billion years old, but life is believed to have occurred approximately 4 billion years ago. There is a idea that long ago complex collections of chemicals formed the first cells. Life began in the oceans  from simple chemicals joining together in a “primordial soup” .Complex chemicals evolved into living cells.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What were the conditions like on Earth when life arose?
Organic molecules  being formed on the Earth’s surface. Lightening and ultraviolet radiation from the Sun acted on the atmosphere to forms small traces of many different gases, including ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO) and ethane and also, cyanide (HCN) probably formed easily in the upper atmosphere, from solar radiation and then dissolved in raindrops.


 

 

Can the life be created now using all the main components for Life?

To some extent, Yes. Consider a very simplest way to create life using all the main components required for life. For example, preparing a soup of all the dissolved organic components and exposing the soup to sun radiation.

When we speak about components, water is the most abundant molecule on Earth's surface, composing of about 70% of the Earth's surface. Water also makes up 75 % of the human body.

Modern chemistry explains us how water was formed now or during primitive earth.

The structural and electrical properties of the water should be discussed in relation to membrane functions, in particular transport of ions across membranes.

Water is primarily a liquid under standard conditions, however, all the elements surrounding oxygen in the periodic table, nitrogen, fluorine, phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine, all combine with hydrogen to produce gases under standard conditions.

The reason that water forms a liquid is that it is more electronegative than all of these elements (other than fluorine). Oxygen attracts electrons much more strongly than hydrogen, resulting in a net positive charge on the hydrogen atoms, and a net negative charge on the oxygen atom. The presence of a charge on each of these atoms gives each water molecule a net dipole moment. Electrical attraction between water molecules due to this dipole pulls individual molecules closer together, making it more difficult to separate the molecules and therefore raising the boiling point. This attraction is known as hydrogen-bonding.

And again, some elements show ionic bond when dissolved in water. For instance, when sodium and chlorine atoms are mixed together, the sodium atom gives its electron to the chlorine atom. The sodium and chlorine atoms become the sodium and chloride ions (Na and Cl, respectively). The sodium and chloride ions have opposite electrical charges and so the two ions are electro statically attracted to each other. The electrostatic attraction between two ions, each with a full (not partial) electric charge, is called an ionic-bond.

These electrochemical reactions are very much necessary for transport of ions across membranes.

Now create a soup with water and amphiphilic molecules. The amphiphilic molecules forms a oily surface. One end interact with water and one end does not interact with water. These molecules automatically self-assemble to form bi-layers.

These are the technique used to make up the walls of our cells and several research and available fossils demonstrates the formation of organic soup during primitive earth.

So we can assume that there could be some molecules trapped in-between bilayer and we have learnt that different molecules behave differently with Sun radiation.

Expose the bilayer with Sun's radiation, some of molecules or elements sensitive to light radiation absorbs the light and becomes excited resulting in formation of bonds and chemical reaction results in action or we can call them as metabolism. This is because,
energy level balance has to take place and the molecule can not stay in an excited stable state for long time and the the excitation energy to be transferred to maintain the balance.

Let us check this more with modern fuel cells designed.

We all know that modern fuel cell design works on almost similar principle. In essence, a fuel cell works by catalysis, separating the component electrons and protons of the reactant fuel, and forcing the electrons to travel through a circuit, hence converting them to electrical power. The waste products with these types of fuel cells are carbon dioxide and water.

During primitive earth, we can assume there could be a 'n' numbers of bi-layers formed, energy trapped in bi-layer resulting in metabolism to take place.

We can even think of carbon metabolism that is now happening in plants cells due to Sun's radiation.

6H2O + 6CO2 + Sun radiation ----------> C6H12O6+ 6O2

The released oxygen could be absorbed by other bilayer and breaking the carbohydrates again again into CO2 and water. This is nothing but cellular respiration and ATP generation.

Take for example, Microbial fuel cells that is used these modern days. When micro-organisms consume a substrate such as sugar in aerobic conditions they produce carbon dioxide and water. However when oxygen is not present they produce carbon dioxide, protons and electrons as described below:

C12H22O11 + 13H2O ---> 12CO2 + 48H+ + 48e-

Microbial fuel cells use inorganic mediators to tap into the electron transport chain of cells and steal the electrons that are produced.

Even when we speak about cell evolution, it is assumed that first cell types were heterotrophic cells which were incapable of producing their own food and then autotrophs which can produce chemicals to store energy and then chemoautotroph which can store energy found in certain inorganic chemicals. and then prokaryotes, 2 - 1.5 billion years ago and then – eukaryotes which had membranes to isolate certain chemical reactions and cellular life then evolved into what we know today.

But we still need to learn more to make the excitation energy reproduce.

Let us study more about HYDROGEN BONDING:

Hydrogen bonds are critically important in biology because they help explain the solubility of molecules in water, the structure of macromolecules (such as DNA and protein), and the formation of stable lipid bilayer membranes.

Even when we speak about DNA in animal or plant cells, Hydrogen bonding is the chemical mechanism that underlies the base-pairing rules.

Hydrogen bonds are weak electrostatic attractions between atoms displaying partial positive and partial negative charges. The partial positive charges are produced when hydrogen atoms are associated with another atom through a polar covalent bond. The partial negative charges are associated with an atom (e.g., oxygen) that has a higher affinity for electrons.

The oxygen atom has two pairs of electrons in its outermost energy level that are not in bonding orbitals. These four electrons form a negatively charged "cloud" of electron density on the side of the water molecule opposite from the hydrogen atoms. The oxygen atom is much more electronegative than the hydrogen atom, so, when a bonding orbital forms between the oxygen and hydrogen atoms, the electrons in the bonding orbital are disproportionately distributed toward the oxygen side of the polar covalent bond. This results in a partial negative charge (-) associated with the oxygen atom. The full positive charge of the hydrogen nucleus is poorly covered by the thin electron density and "shows through", resulting in a partial positive charge (+).

The weak electrostatic attraction between the partial negative and partial positive charges is a hydrogen bond.

In molecular biology, two nucleotides on opposite complementary DNA or RNA strands that are connected via hydrogen bonds are called a base pair
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Even in DNA, the law of energy level balance holds good. A a string of DNA acts as a template for producing another string that is its "negative", that is has the same encoding but with each nucleotide replaced with its "complement": adenine for thymine and thymine for adenine, and cytonine for guanine and guanine for cytonine. The process occurs in water and begins when the complements are attracted to the DNA nucleotides by "polar" bonds. A polar bond is created by the weak electrical asymmetries in a molecule. Once the new DNA is complete, it can detach from the old one by the breaking of those polar bonds. This is how a cell division occurs and we find the growth.

Hence coming back to electronics basics, it the external source that excite the atoms resulting in formation of bonds (creating partial positive and negative charges) and resulting in growth.

Appropriate geometrical correspondence of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors allows only the "right" pairs to form stably.

Within cells, DNA is organized into structures called chromosomes. These chromosomes are duplicated before cells divide, in a process called DNA replication. Eukaryotic organisms such as animals, plants, and fungi store their DNA inside the cell nucleus, while in prokaryotes such as bacteria it is found in the cell's cytoplasm. Within the chromosomes, chromatin proteins such as histones compact and organize DNA. These compact structures guide the interactions between DNA and other proteins, helping control which parts of the DNA are transcribed.

DNA contains the genetic information that allows all modern living things to function, grow and reproduce.

If we go still deeper, we see that RNA or DNA replication are environmentally forced. In recent research it is seen that sun cycle (day and night) could have forced the replication process triggering in growth.

RNA or DNA strands that we currently have in cells are due to a large number of variations that led into forming pair.

4-billion-year of evolution has resulted forming from a basic pair to
3000000000 DNA nucleotide pairs that we currently have in human. We still see same less pairs in bacteria (about 400000 DNA nucleotide pairs).

When we speak about environmentally forced replication, we can assume that instead of a self replication, there was at first a primitive, sun-forced replication process and this led to form basic pairs, replicate and growth.



The variation in solar radiation or energy resulted in organic synthesis. Further there is assumption that there was a shorter day/night cycle, due to the faster rotation of primitive earth. The variation in sun energy has resulted in creating and breaking bonds (opposite charges) which are the most essential factor for growth.


This might put you in some really curious questions like the ones below:

1.Why do we take birth and why do we die?
2.Why do we feel pleasure and pain?
3.Why do we love and why do we hate? Who brings the desire or revulsion in us?
4.Why do we cry and why do we laugh? Also, why do we sleep?
5.Why do we feel disturbed when someone dislikes us?
6.Why do we dream to achieve a goal?
7.What makes us to bring an unsecured and unsatisfied feeling even after achieving something that we wanted?
8.And someone might have questions like - what is life? Is there a creator?
9.
Also, why do we sleep, eat, respire, reproduce?

Think, Think and Think. Go to basics again, an external energy source is required to excite. It is the forces of Nature do all works.

To learn more about mind and spirituality, I suggest please visit Spirituality Article - "Reaching the creator".

 

Disclaimer
The contents in this article are purely scientific with information that I have updated as per my thinking and my work on science and spirituality. THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEB ARTICLE MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. To make my work interesting, images on solar system, universe are used from projectsanctuary.com and they are free images as mentioned in projectsanctuary website.

CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE CONTENTS.

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Contact: Arvind