© 2012

The Dual Nature of Life

Interplay of the Individual and the Genome


  • Novel attempt to explain the driving forces of life

  • Accessible treatment of many fundamental questions about the living state

  • Provides much food for thought, for laypersons and scientists alike


Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. The Phenomenon of Life. Essentials

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 3-18
    3. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 19-35
    4. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 37-43
    5. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 53-56
    6. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 57-62
  3. Living Bodies: Carriers of Life

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 63-63
    2. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 65-71
    3. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 73-80
    4. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 81-93
    5. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 95-111
    6. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 113-122
    7. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 123-134
  4. How Life Works - Mechanisms and Processes of Living Bodies.

    1. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 137-140
    2. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 141-150
    3. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 151-155
    4. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 157-163
    5. Gennadiy Zhegunov
      Pages 165-182

About this book


Life is a diverse and ubiquitous phenomenon on Earth, characterized by fundamental features distinguishing living bodies from nonliving material. Yet it is also so complex that it has long defied precise definition. This book from a seasoned biologist offers new insights into the nature of life by illuminating a fascinating architecture of dualities inherent in its existence and propagation. Life is connected with individual living beings, yet it is also a collective and inherently global phenomenon of the material world. It embodies a dual existence of cycles of phenotypic life, and their unseen driver — an uninterrupted march of genetic information whose collective immortality is guaranteed by individual mortality. Although evolution propagates and tunes species of organisms, the beings produced can be regarded merely as tools for the survival and cloning of genomes written in an unchanging code. What are the physical versus informational bases and driving forces of life, and how do they unite as an integrated system? What does time mean for individuals, life on the global scale, and the underlying information? This accessible examination of principles and evidence shows that a network of dualities lies at the heart of biological puzzles that have engaged the human mind for millennia.


Cybernetics and life systems Duality of Life Evolution of the genome Information and life

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. BiochemistryKharkiv State Zoo-Veterinary AcademyKharkiv RegionUkraine

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Dual Nature of Life
  • Book Subtitle Interplay of the Individual and the Genome
  • Authors Gennadiy Zhegunov
  • Series Title The Frontiers Collection
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-642-30393-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-642-43133-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-30394-4
  • Series ISSN 1612-3018
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 300
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Evolutionary Biology
    Popular Science, general
    Cell Biology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“Dualities have been the subject of numerous books and countless published reports. … Zhegunov (Kharkov State Veterinary Academy, Ukraine) adds to this rich literature with his exploration of the duality that exists between phenomes and genomes. The author begins his discussion with a short review of the impressive genetic and phenotypic diversity that exists on Earth and then argues that this diversity is fully integrated in a global system. … Summing Up: Recommended. Only general readers.” (J. A. Hewlett, Choice, Vol. 50 (10), June, 2013)