I favour the viewpoint that life is best thought of as a phenomenon that incorporates the flow of energy and the flow of information. I suspect that significant key breakthroughs in biological evolution are tied to the appearance of new mechanisms that markedly increase the flow of information (whether genomic or other), thanks to the bootstrapping of natural selection. One of these breakthroughs is undeniably the appearance of multicellular life forms, so it is interesting to note that genomic sequencing of choanoflagellates, the organisms suspected by many to be a link between proto and metazoans shows they have more and better cell signalling proteins than other micro-organisms.
In fact they seem to have a wider repertoire of signalling proteins than anything else, the question is: why? “we don’t have a clue” stated one of the researchers, with refreshing honesty.
Sounds like the start of some great research.