Life -- Origin, Genetics--Research
The information contained in life exists in two forms, analog and digital. Analog information is manifest mainly in the differing concentrations of chemicals that get passed from generation to generation and can vary from cell to cell. Digital information is encoded in linear polymers such as DNA and RNA, whose side chains come in discrete chemical forms. Here, we argue that the analog form of information preceded the digital. Acceptance of this dichotomy, and this progression, can help direct future studies on how life originated and initially complexified on the primordial Earth, as well as expected trajectories for other, independent origins of complex life.
Baum, D. A., & Lehman, N. (2017). Life’s Late Digital Revolution and Why It Matters for the Study of the Origins of Life. Life, 7(3), 34.