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The Mosaic Theory of Natural Complexity : A scientific and philosophical approach

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ISBN: 9782821895744 Language: English
Publisher: Éditions des maisons des sciences de l’homme associées
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-12 11:49:50
License: OpenEdition Licence for Books

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What is complexity? The present work will offer a description of complex systems based on two general principles: juxtaposition of similar units and then integration of these units, once modified, into structures at a higher level of which they become parts. As in a mosaic, however, these parts within the higher level or structure, retain some independent properties and autonomy. The model is based directly on observations of living organisms: cells or organs retain their autonomy functioning within a given organism, and individual organisms have autonomy when functioning as part of a population or society.

Microbial responses to environmental changes

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197231 Year: Pages: 261 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-723-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Advances in next generation sequencing technologies, omics, and bioinformatics are revealing a tremendous and unsuspected diversity of microbes, both at a compositional and functional level. Moreover, the expansion of ecological concepts into microbial ecology has greatly advanced our comprehension of the role microbes play in the functioning of ecosystems across a wide range of biomes. Super-imposed on this new information about microbes, their functions and how they are organized, environmental gradients are changing rapidly, largely driven by direct and indirect human activities. In the context of global change, understanding the mechanisms that shape microbial communities is pivotal to predict microbial responses to novel selective forces and their implications at the local as well as global scale. One of the main features of microbial communities is their ability to react to changes in the environment. Thus, many studies have reported changes in the performance and composition of communities along environmental gradients. However, the mechanisms underlying these responses remain unclear. It is assumed that the response of microbes to changes in the environment is mediated by a complex combination of shifts in the physiological properties, single-cell activities, or composition of communities: it may occur by means of physiological adjustments of the taxa present in a community or selecting towards more tolerant/better adapted phylotypes. Knowing whether certain factors trigger one, many, or all mechanisms would greatly increase confidence in predictions of future microbial composition and processes. This Research Topic brings together studies that applied the latest molecular techniques for studying microbial composition and functioning and integrated ecological, biogeochemical and/or modeling approaches to provide a comprehensive and mechanistic perspective of the responses of micro-organisms to environmental changes. This Research Topic presents new findings on environmental parameters influencing microbial communities, the type and magnitude of response and differences in the response among microbial groups, and which collectively deepen our current understanding and knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of microbial structural and functional responses to environmental changes and gradients in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The body of work has, furthermore, identified many challenges and questions that yet remain to be addressed and new perspectives to follow up on.

Everything Flows

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ISBN: 9780198779636 9780198779636 Year: Pages: 416 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_1000196 Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press Grant: FP7 Ideas: European Research Council - 324186
Subject: Biology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-07-02 11:01:01
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This collection of essays explores the metaphysical thesis that the living world is not ontologically made up of substantial particles or things, as has often been assumed, but is rather constituted by processes. The biological domain is organized as an interdependent hierarchy of processes, which are stabilized and actively maintained at different timescales. Even entities that intuitively appear to be paradigms of things, such as organisms, are actually better understood as processes. Unlike previous attempts to articulate processual views of biology, which have tended to use Alfred North Whitehead’s panpsychist metaphysics as a foundation, this book takes a naturalistic approach to metaphysics. It submits that the main motivations for replacing an ontology of substances with one of processes are to be looked for in the empirical findings of science. Biology provides compelling reasons for thinking that the living realm is fundamentally dynamic and that the existence of things is always conditional on the existence of processes. The phenomenon of life cries out for theories that prioritize processes over things, and it suggests that the central explanandum of biology is not change but rather stability—or, more precisely, stability attained through constant change. This multicontributor volume brings together philosophers of science and metaphysicians interested in exploring the consequences of a processual philosophy of biology. The contributors draw on an extremely wide range of biological case studies and employ a process perspective to cast new light on a number of traditional philosophical problems such as identity, persistence, and individuality.

Biological Information:New Perspectives

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
ISBN: 9789814508728 Year: Pages: 584 DOI: 10.1142/8818 Language: English
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Co.
Subject: Technology (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 03:49:23
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In the spring of 2011, a diverse group of scientists gathered at Cornell University to discuss their research into the nature and origin of biological information. This symposium brought together experts in information theory, computer science, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, whole organism biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, physics, biophysics, mathematics, and linguistics. This volume presents new research by those invited to speak at the conference.The contributors to this volume use their wide-ranging expertise in the area of biological information to bring fresh insights into the many explanatory difficulties associated with biological information. These authors raise major challenges to the conventional scientific wisdom, which attempts to explain all biological information exclusively in terms of the standard mutation/selection paradigm.Several clear themes emerged from these research papers: 1) Information is indispensable to our understanding of what life is; 2) Biological information is more than the material structures that embody it; 3) Conventional chemical and evolutionary mechanisms seem insufficient to fully explain the labyrinth of information that is life. By exploring new perspectives on biological information, this volume seeks to expand, encourage, and enrich research into the nature and origin of biological information.Contents:Session One — Information Theory & Biology: Introductory Comments (Robert J Marks II):Biological Information — What is It? (Werner Gitt, Robert Compton and Jorge Fernandez)A General Theory of Information Cost Incurred by Successful Search (William A Dembski, Winston Ewert and Robert J Marks II)Pragmatic Information (John W Oller, Jr)Limits of Chaos and Progress in Evolutionary Dynamics (William F Basener)Tierra: The Character of Adaptation (Winston Ewert, William A Dembski and Robert J Marks II)Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation (George Montañez, Robert J Marks II, Jorge Fernandez and John C Sanford)Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems (Granville Sewell)Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems (Andy C McIntosh)Session Two — Biological Information and Genetic Theory: Introductory Comments (John C Sanford):Not Junk After All: Non-Protein-Coding DNA Carries Extensive Biological Information (Jonathan Wells)Can Purifying Natural Selection Preserve Biological Information? (Paul Gibson, John R Baumgardner, Wesley H Brewer and John C Sanford)Selection Threshold Severely Constrains Capture of Beneficial Mutations (John C Sanford, John R Baumgardner and Wesley H Brewer)Using Numerical Simulation to Test the “Mutation-Count” Hypothesis (Wesley H Brewer, John R Baumgardner and John C Sanford)Can Synergistic Epistasis Halt Mutation Accumulation? Results from Numerical Simulation (John R Baumgardner, Wesley H Brewer and John C Sanford)Computational Evolution Experiments Reveal a Net Loss of Genetic Information Despite Selection (Chase W Nelson and John C Sanford)Information Loss: Potential for Accelerating Natural Genetic Attenuation of RNA Viruses (Wesley H Brewer, Franzine D Smith and John C Sanford)DNA.EXE: A Sequence Comparison between the Human Genome and Computer Code (Josiah Seaman)Biocybernetics and Biosemiosis (Donald Johnson)Session Three — Theoretical Molecular Biology: Introductory Comments (Michael J Behe):An Ode to the Code: Evidence for Fine-Tuning in the Standard Codon Table (Jed C Macosko and Amanda M Smelser)A New Model of Intracellular Communication Based on Coherent, High-Frequency Vibrations in Biomolecules (L Dent)Getting There First: An Evolutionary Rate Advantage for Adaptive Loss-of-Function Mutations (Michael J Behe)The Membrane Code: A Carrier of Essential Biological Information That is Not Specified by DNA and is Inherited Apart from It (Jonathan Wells)Explaining Metabolic Innovation: Neo-Darwinism Versus Design (Douglas D Axe and Ann K Gauger)Session Four — Biological Information and Self-Organizational Complexity Theory: Introductory Comments (Bruce L Gordon):Evolution Beyond Entailing Law: The Roles of Embodied Information and Self Organization (Stuart Kauffman)Towards a General Biology: Emergence of Life and Information from the Perspective of Complex Systems Dynamics (Bruce H Weber)Readership: Academics, researchers, postgraduates and advanced undergraduates in bioinformatics. Biologists, mathematicians/statisticians, physicists and computer scientists.

Epistemologien des Umgebens

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Book Series: Edition Medienwissenschaft ISBN: 9783839448397 9783837648393 Year: Pages: 562 DOI: 10.14361/9783839448397 Language: German
Publisher: transcript Verlag
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2019-11-01 11:21:03
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The rise of the term "environment" to describe the present marks the influence that reflection on environmental relations and the possibility of engineering artificial environments have gained since the mid-nineteenth century. In closed artificial worlds such as space stations or artificial ecosystems, the entanglement of the "environment" with the surrounding organisms becomes the subject of a biopolitics that today opens up new spaces in autonomous environmental control technologies. Florian Sprenger pursues this transformation of ecological environmental knowledge with the aim of better understanding current technologies, making the term understandable and highlighting the biopolitical dimension of each ecology.

Metal Metabolism in Animals

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ISBN: 9783038428435 9783038428442 Year: Pages: X, 356 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Biology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-04-20 14:25:48
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Through evolution of life, animals have adapted to the ubiquitous presence of metals in the biosphere. They utilize the more frequent ones as essential constituents of their biochemical machinery. In fact, about 40% of all proteins present in animal cells are so-called metalloproteins. On the other hand, animals have invented regulatory and detoxifying mechanisms to protect themselves from critical concentrations of both essential and non-essential metal concentrations. Metallomics is a modern approach applying cellular, biochemical, molecular and analytical methods to investigate the relationships of metals in their cellular context. The present edition contains a number of original articles and reviews dealing with various aspects of metallomics in animals, published as Special Issues of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in 2016 and 2017. The book addresses subjects such as metal definition in biology, metabolism of metals in invertebrate and vertebrate animals, metal detoxification and regulation strategies, supplementation of essential trace elements, metal behavior in pregnancy and embryonic development, as well as metal toxicology and emerging medical implications.

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