A genetic code Boolean structure. II. The genetic information system as a Boolean information system

Bull Math Biol. 2005 Sep;67(5):1017-29. doi: 10.1016/j.bulm.2004.12.004.


A Boolean structure of the genetic code where Boolean deductions have biological and physicochemical meanings was discussed in a previous paper. Now, from these Boolean deductions we propose to define the value of amino acid information in order to consider the genetic information system as a communication system and to introduce the semantic content of information ignored by the conventional information theory. In this proposal, the value of amino acid information is proportional to the molecular weight of amino acids with a proportional constant of about 1.96 x 10(25) bits per kg. In addition to this, for the experimental estimations of the minimum energy dissipation in genetic logic operations, we present two postulates: (1) the energy Ei (i=1,2,...,20) of amino acids in the messages conveyed by proteins is proportional to the value of information, and (2) amino acids are distributed according to their energy Ei so the amino acid population in proteins follows a Boltzmann distribution. Specifically, in the genetic message carried by the DNA from the genomes of living organisms, we found that the minimum energy dissipation in genetic logic operations was close to kTLn(2) joules per bit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Amino Acids / chemistry
  • Amino Acids / genetics
  • Animals
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / genetics
  • Genetic Code / genetics*
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Statistical Distributions
  • Thermodynamics*


  • Amino Acids
  • Deoxyribonucleotides