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he answer is really quite simple. A year ago, I wrote about constitutional change, thinking naively that it presented a road ahead to protect us from ill-considered and unfair mandates. A safeguard that would protect our natural human rights. I have changed my opinion completely. You will too if you consider what we know about the basic equations of life and how the pandemic has destructively interfered with them.
The second law of thermodynamics states that as energy is transferred or transformed, more and more of it is wasted. In simple terms, this implies that entropy or disorder is always increasing in the universe. Like a fire burning in your front room, it is gradually running out of fuel.
There is one exception to this: living systems. Living systems are swimming against the current, they are increasing in order, they are evolving. This area is the subject of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. The remarkable molecule that orchestrates this miracle is DNA. DNA is found in every living cell, managing the trillions of actions that maintain life.
If you uncoil each strand of DNA in a cell and place them end to end, they would be 2 metres long. This might sound deceptively manageable, but we have trillions of cells and therefore a lot of DNA. Each DNA molecule contains 204 billion atoms. Stretch out all your DNA, and the resulting strand would be 107 billion kilometres long – about the same as 150,000 round trips to the Moon.
DNA is so vital to life that it is highly protected. Our human body is designed so that both air and food enter only through the mouth. Food is then filtered by our complex digestive system whose biomolecular processes transform our natural food (which is also based on DNA), into usable nutrients and building blocks through a myriad of steps only completed over the course of a month. Every single atom in the physiology is replaced according to a fixed order every 5 to 10 years. Ensuring our life is constantly being refreshed.
It doesn’t stop there. Each cell is highly protected from degradation, pollution, and the effects of radiation. Firstly, by the cell wall which is largely successful in preventing the entry of toxins, pathogens, and pollutants. Deep inside the cell is the nucleus which contains the DNA. This is also highly protected. In each of our 37 trillion cells, there are 70,000 DNA repair jobs that are executed each day, ensuring as far as possible that the structure of DNA is stable and protected from radiation-induced mutation.
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