Second Level Code of Life: Existence and Role of Protein ProgramAuthor(s): Bo Zhang
The traits of an organism are determined by DNA or RNA genetic information. Based on modern genetic theory, such a determination path is from genetic information to protein structures and protein functions and then to the traits or abilities of an organism. However, the microscopic activities of life molecules in many phenomena and functions of specific proteins are not well explained only by the structures of proteins and other life molecules.
I gave a classification of rules things operate in accordance with, which includes rules of natural laws, rules of structures and rules of information codes and made inferences based on modern genetic theory and the concept of the three types of rules to reach that life molecules may act following information codes. Then, I proposed the hypothesis of a new conceptual model of life, namely, the genetic program of genetic substance molecules, which is the second level code of life, compared with the genetic information of DNA/RNA which can be called the first level code of life. Genetic programs are carried and executed by genetic substance molecules, including DNA, RNA, protein and define certain rules of actions of life. The protein program is now the mainstay of the genetic program. The protein’s role as the information substance of life is examined in this paper.
The theory provides a new perspective and justifications to explain the activities of biomolecules and biological functions. I also gave a new definition of life based on the concept of genetic program.