My life-changing moment occurred while I was reviewing my research on the mechanisms by which cells control their physiology and behaviour. Suddenly I realized that a cell’s life is fundamentally controlled by the physical and energetic environment with only a small contribution by its genes. Genes are simply molecular blueprints used in the construction of cells, tissues and organs. The environment serves as a ‘contractor’ who reads and engages those genetic blueprints and is ultimately responsible for the character of a cell’s life. It is a single cell’s ‘awareness’ of the environment that primarily sets into motion the mechanisms of life.