Water as the Fabric of Life
1 18 Hillcourt Road, East Dulwich, London SE22 0PE, UK
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
Many share the feeling that we are at in the midst of a shift in our perception of water – a shift from the current molecular-level based approach (which focuses on the behaviour of individual or small numbers of molecules) towards a new, systemic view of water. In this new picture, water is perceived as an active substance that responds adaptively to external and internal constraints and signals. These responses can have profound effects on substances immersed in water, and in particular on the functioning of biological constituents, from molecules to living cells. This special volume presents some existing and possible future directions in this trend towards a systemic view of water as an active substance, which plays many essential roles in sustaining life. The work reported here suggests that the notion of water as “life's solvent” should give way to the new realisation of water as an active “fabric of life”, continuously engaging and interacting with biomolecules in complex and subtle ways.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2014