Life is fueled by available energy. In fact, life is organized around the utilization of available energy, either from photons or from chemicals. The basic architecture of life can be understood from the following propositions: catalysts are able to control the path of chemical reactions and influence their rate by transient and reversible exchange of high-grade energy between themselves and reactants, while conserving the total energy. That, in turn, enables the synthesis of essential chemicals as well as the duplication of templates. We argue in this paper that energy utilization and evolution are emergent properties in life that are based on a small number of well-established laws of physics and chemistry governing catalysis. We propose that the relevant laws constitute a framework for biology on a level intermediate between quantum chemistry and cell biology.
Keywords: Catalysis, energy partitioning, evolution, bioenergetics
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