Design and Information in Biology: From Molecules to Systems

Overview

This volume, the second of two providing the 'holistic introduction' to the Design and Nature series, focuses initially on DNA as a starting point for the consideration of the evolution of information and complexity in the natural world. The significance of the dual functions of DNA and the complexity of biomolecules, emphatically revealed by results from the Human Genome Project, are considered both in the context of the way living things work and in relation to the origin of life. Volume 2 complements and ...

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Overview

This volume, the second of two providing the 'holistic introduction' to the Design and Nature series, focuses initially on DNA as a starting point for the consideration of the evolution of information and complexity in the natural world. The significance of the dual functions of DNA and the complexity of biomolecules, emphatically revealed by results from the Human Genome Project, are considered both in the context of the way living things work and in relation to the origin of life. Volume 2 complements and extends the scope of Volume 1 Nature and Design, with the biological viewpoint being stressed. Following an introductory chapter on design as understood in biology, the various aspects of the biological information revolution are addressed. Areas discussed include molecular structure, the genome, development, and neural networks. Highlighted with individual contributions from eminent specialists, this multi-authored volume combines authority, inspiration and state-of-the-art knowledge. Both informative and inspiring, it is designed to appeal to scientists and interested people alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853128530
  • Publisher: WIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2006
  • Series: Design in Nature Ser.
  • Pages: 512

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction : part I - design and information in biological systems 1
Ch. 2 Introduction : part II - genomes, genes and proteins 13
Ch. 3 Green grass, red blood, blueprint : reflections on life, self-replication, and evolution 29
Ch. 4 The human genome project 97
Ch. 5 The laws of thermodynamics : entropy, free energy, information and complexity 127
Ch. 6 The laws of thermodynamics and Homo sapiens the engineer 179
Ch. 7 Information theory and sensory perception 205
Ch. 8 Flight 235
Ch. 9 Insect observations and hexapod design 265
Ch. 10 The palm - a model for success? 303
Ch. 11 The human world seen as living systems 327
Ch. 12 Searching for improvement 345
Ch. 13 Living systems, 'total design' and the evolution of the automobile : the significance and application of holistic design methods in automotive design, manufacture and operation 381
Ch. 14 Emergent behaviours in autonomous robots 447
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