Limits on Evolution revealed by statistical physics

Apparently, we have…limits

What is and is not possible for natural evolution may be explained using models and calculations from theoretical physics, say researchers in Japan.

Theoretically, every component of every chemical in every cell of all living organisms could vary independently of all the others, a situation researchers refer to as high dimensionality. In reality, evolution does not produce every possible outcome.

Experts have consistently noticed that organisms seem to be restricted to a low level of dimensionality, meaning that their essential building blocks appear to be linked to each other. For example, if A increases, then B always decreases.

“Bacteria have thousands of types of proteins, so in theory those could be thousands of dimensional points in different environments. However, we see the variation fits a one-dimensional curve or low-dimensional surface regardless of the environment,” said Professor Kunihiko Kaneko, a theoretical biology expert from the University of Tokyo Research Center for Complex Systems Biology and an author of the recent research publication.

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To explain this low dimensionality, researchers simplified the natural world to fit idealized physics models and searched for any mathematical structure within biological complexity.

Read more: archaeology news network