Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics / Edition 1by M. Lassig
Pub. Date: 12/08/2010
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
People have always asked what distinguishes the living from the inanimate world and what unifies the two. Theelds of biology and physics have a long history of exchange. Milestones at the molecular level were the discoveries of the structure ofDNA,RNA,andproteins. It is not by coincidence that this exchange has intensified in recent years. Laboratory
People have always asked what distinguishes the living from the inanimate world and what unifies the two. Theelds of biology and physics have a long history of exchange. Milestones at the molecular level were the discoveries of the structure ofDNA,RNA,andproteins. It is not by coincidence that this exchange has intensified in recent years. Laboratory experiments reach down to the level of single molecules. Moreover, thereisnowavastamountofgenomicinformation,whichisstillgrowingex- nentially due to the various sequencing projects. Biologists increasingly feel the need for theoretical models to interpret these data in a quantitative way. At the sametime,theoreticalphysicshasmadesignificantprogressinareaslikelyto be relevant for the understanding of biological systems. Some important ex- plesarecooperativephenomena,statisticsfarfromthermodynamicequilibrium, systemswithquencheddisorder,andsoftmatter. Some forms of biological matter have indeed become established areas of - searchwithinphysics,suchasbiomembranes,heteropolymers,molecularmotors, microtubules,neuralsystemsetc.Thisvolumeisfocusedonadifierentaspect of the living world that can be calledbiologicalinformation,itscoding,rep- duction,andevolution.Biologicalinformationistranslatedintostructuresand patternsoveranenormousrangeofscales,fromsinglebiomoleculestospecies networks coupled over entire continents. Thestatisticaltheory of biological information lives not only in three-dim- sional space. It involves various abstract spaces in which this information is encodedandevolves,suchasnucleotidesequences,genenetworks,ortopologies of the ‘tree of life’. The articles collected highlight a few directions of research that may become important parts of this emergingeld. Therst part of the book,MolecularInformationandEvolution,startswith twoarticlesonsequencesimilarityanalysis,acentralthemeinbioinformatics which has surprisingly deep connections to statistical physics. The genetic code, RNA,andproteinsarethreeexamplesoftheintricateinterplayofsequence, structure,andfunctioninevolution.
Table of Contents
From the contents: Statistical Significance and Extremal Ensemble of Gapped Local Hybrid Alignment.- On the Design of Optimization Critera for Multiple Sequence Alignment.- Red Queen Dynamics and the Evolution of Translational Redundancy.- A Testable Genotype-Phenotype Map: Modeling Evolution of RNA Molecules.- Evolutionary Perspectives on Protein Structure, Stability, and Functionality.- The Statistical Approach to Molecular Phylogeny: Evidence for a Nonhyperthermophilic Common Ancestor.- Principles of Cophylogenetic Maps.- Accounting for Phylogenetic Uncertainty in Comparative Studies of Evolution and Adaptation.- The "Shape" of Phylogenies Under Simple Random Speciation Models.- Fitness Landscapes.- Tempo and Mode in Quasispecies Evolution.- Multilevel Processes in Evolution and Development.- Evolutionary Strategies for Solving Optimazation Problems.- Review of Biological Ageing on the Computer.- Spatio-Temporal Modes of Speciation.
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