Parrondo’s Paradox

The “three sided” coin:

How it works with biology:

The picture that the authors paint of biological reality is a striking one. Their work suggests that the biosphere might be supported by countless layers of Parrondo-paradoxical effects, each ingesting inevitably losing strategies and producing enhanced outcomes at a slightly larger temporal or spatial scale for the layer above, in what may be visualized as a fractal-like recurrent pattern. Such imagery offers a fresh perspective on our view of nature and of ourselves.

The trio is now attempting to analyze the detailed structure of these mechanisms, which might span from hugely macroscopic spatial scales of entire ecosystems to the molecular inner workings of cells, and from the million-year timescales of evolution to sub-microsecond genetic and molecular processes. “Every cell, organism and species, and species assemblage and ecosystem, is necessarily mortal, yet the biosphere persists,” said Assistant Professor Cheong.