Reversal of informational entropy and the acquisition of germ-like immortality by somatic cells

Curr Aging Sci. 2014;7(1):9-16. doi: 10.2174/1874609807666140521101102.


We live within an increasingly technological, information-laden environment for the first time in human evolution. This subjects us (and will continue to subject us in an accelerating fashion) to an unremitting exposure to 'meaningful information that requires action'. Directly dependent upon this new environment are novel evolutionary pressures, which can modify existing resource allocation mechanisms and may eventually favour the survival of somatic cells (particularly neurons) at the expense of germ line cells. In this theoretical paper I argue that persistent, structured information-sharing in both virtual and real domains, leads to increased biological complexity and functionality, which reflects upon human survival characteristics. Certain biological immortalisation mechanisms currently employed by germ cells may thus need to be downgraded in order to enable somatic cells to manage these new energy demands placed by our modern environment. Relevant concepts from a variety of disciplines such as the evolution of complex adaptive systems, information theory, digital hyper-connectivity, and cell immortalisation will be reviewed. Using logical, though sometimes speculative arguments, I will attempt to describe a new biology. A biology not driven by sex and reproduction but by information and somatic longevity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cell Death
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Germ Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Information Theory
  • Longevity
  • Models, Biological*
  • Phenotype
  • Signal Transduction
  • Systems Biology
  • Time Factors