A new biological definition of life

Biomol Concepts. 2020 Jan 13;11(1):1-6. doi: 10.1515/bmc-2020-0001.


Here we have proposed a new biological definition of life based on the function and reproduction of existing genes and creation of new ones, which is applicable to both unicellular and multicellular organisms. First, we coined a new term "genetic information metabolism" comprising functioning, reproduction, and creation of genes and their distribution among living and non-living carriers of genetic information. Encompassing this concept, life is defined as organized matter that provides genetic information metabolism. Additionally, we have articulated the general biological function of life as Tetz biological law: "General biological function of life is to provide genetic information metabolism" and formulated novel definition of life: "Life is an organized matter that provides genetic information metabolism". New definition of life and Tetz biological law allow to distinguish in a new way living and non-living objects on Earth and other planets based on providing genetic information metabolism.

Keywords: Pangenome; The General biological law; biological theory; definition of life; modified genes.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Genes / physiology*
  • Heredity / genetics*
  • Life*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Theoretical