Prof. Dr. Matthias F. Schneider - Medical and Biological Physics, TU – Dortmund, Germany
Thursday 01 February
09:15 - 10:00
Title: From Physics to Living Systems. Pulses, Fluctuations, Transitions and the Living State.
Abstract: Life is full of hydrated interface that all have to obey the 2nd Law. The enormous power of this realization and it’s consequences for life were first pointed out by K. Kaufmann starting in the late 80ties. This work is strongly inspired by his work.
We demonstrate a direct link between thermodynamic state and (biological) function using Einstein’s approach to Thermodynamics. Including transitions, we introduce a concept for specificity, which is based on thermodynamics. Further we show that pulses (linear and non-linear) can propagate through soft (biological) interfaces and can turn enzymes on and off representing the ultimate element necessary to explain biological communication from physical principles.
Importantly, this mind set is in strong contrast to the molecular approach were specific lock and key interactions + diffusion play the crucial role.
Taken together, fluctuations, pulses and (thermodynamic) transitions built a physical concept for biological communication, which is applied to nerve pulse propagation, but which – more importantly – forms the cornerstone of a new attempt to understand the origin of multicellular life and health.