Erwin Schrodinger, the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933, titled his famous book.
The idea of information is a concept that science, in its mechanical layout as well as quantum mechanics, has not expressed a clear definition. The answer to the question of what life is was easier and more intuitive for the ancient Greek Philosopher-scientists, as they referred, like Hippocrates, to a “intelligence of nature” of which we are an integral part, while others, like Epicurus, was heavily influenced by a general “vitalism” concept for which the atoms themselves were fundamental elements of the life of the universe, and as such living beings themselves.
The same thought goes for Energy and Information and as such this can affect the world around them. But to better understand the concept of Information as an essential element of life it is always advisable to refer to Schrodingher in regards to energy provided by food. In fact, he criticized the simplistic idea that the nutritional exchange is simply energetic. In fact, a vital element is water, of which our body is made up of for more than 60% and we all know how important water is for life, without providing any caloric contribution. The idea that we feed energy is indeed very approximate and comes from calorimetric measurements of food, but truly we are not a stove. Today we know that the molecules of DNA devoid of water, that is considered in a vacuum, would shatter within a fraction of a second. In fact water stabilizes the molecular dynamics of DNA supporting this complex chemistry structure, with the dynamic construction of bridges and hydrogen that makes the DNA flexible.
Schrodinger using the terms of science thermodynamics says, “it is the neg-entropy (entropy-negative) generated by the metabolic process of exchange of energy and matter, the actual food of life.” The information precedes the form and to understand it we must refer to the work by Leon Brillouin: entropy for him is the measure of how much information has been lost in a transformation and vice versa “negentropy” assumes the meaning of measure of the content of the information in a transformation.
For example, when grapes are turned into wine it is necessary to start by crushing the grapes and at this stage information is lost as the form of the cluster is destroyed, such a process that needs energy intake, is indicated by the growth of entropy (or disorder); vice versa when a new molecular form is synthesized, (which for simplicity we call “wine”). At this stage there is a growth of negentropy, that is, a new molecular order sufficiently stable over time.
Thus nutrition is defined as a complex process of relations between energy, matter and information (or if you prefer negentropy growth) that activates the life of organism; thus the latter can be considered as a network of programmed communications (eg by: DNA, RNA, molecules-carrier, etc.) that are catalyzed by information systems (eg. neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes, etc.), which are expressed in the encoding and decoding of interactions between matter and energy. This system should be considered in terms of an information system, which all together characterize the catabolic and anabolic activity of the metabolism of a living organism.