The Frozen Accident’ as an Evolutionary Adaptation: A Rate Distortion Theory Perspective on the Dynamics and Symmetries of Genetic Coding Mechanisms. Informatica 36:53–73


We survey some interpretations and related issues concerning ‘the frozen accident ’ hypothesis proposed by Francis Crick and how it can be explained in terms of several natural mechanisms involving errorcorrection codes, spin glasses, symmetry breaking and the characteristic robustness of genetic networks. The approach to most of these questions involves using elements of Shannon’s rate distortion theory incorporating a semantic system which is meaningful for the relevant alphabets and vocabulary implemented in transmission of the genetic code. We apply the fundamental homology between information source uncertainty with the free energy density of a thermodynamical system with respect to transcriptional regulators and the communication channels of sequence/structure in proteins. The collective outcome of these processes supports previous suggestions that ‘the frozen accident ’ may in fact have been a temporal evolutionary adaptation. Povzetek: Članek obravnava izvor genetskega kodiranja.

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