Modelling stigmergic gene transfer
We consider an information-theoretic model studying the conditions when a separation between the dynamics of a ’proto-cell’ and its proto-symbolic representation becomes beneficial in terms of preserving the proto-cell’s information in a noisy environment. In particular, we are interested in understanding the behaviour at the “error threshold” level which, in our case, turns out to be a whole “error interval”. We separate the phenomena into a “waste” and a “loss” component; the “waste” measures “packaging” information which envelops the proto-cell’s information, but itself does not contain any information of interest, the “loss” measures how much of the proto-symbolically encoded information is actually lost. We observe that transitions in the waste/loss functions correspond to the boundaries of the “error interval”. Secondly, we study whether and how different protocells can share such information via a joint code, even if they have slightly different individual dynamics. Implications for the emergence of biological genetic code are discussed.