In April, Anna posted a new preprint on bioRxiv discussing “The pace of life: Time, temperature and a biological theory of relativity”. Check out the html file in the supplementary for embedded animations.
“For living things, time proceeds relative to body temperature. In this contribution, I describe the biochemical underpinnings of this “biological time” and formalize the Biological Theory of Relativity (BTR). Paralleling Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, the BTR describes how time progresses across temporal frames of reference, contrasting temperature-scaled biological time with our more familiar (and constant) “calendar” time measures. By characterizing the relationship between these two time frames, the BTR allows us to position observed biological variability on a relevant time-scale. In so doing, we are better able to explain observed variation (both temperature-dependent and -independent), make predictions about the timing of biological phenomena, and even manipulate the biological world around us. The BTR presents a theoretical framework to direct future work regarding an entire landscape of fundamental biological questions across space, time and species.“