By Donald R. Forsdyke
Now in its 3rd version and supplemented with extra on-line fabric, this e-book goals to make the "new" information-based (rather than gene-based) bioinformatics intelligible either to the "bio" humans and the "info" humans. Books on bioinformatics have usually served gene-hunters, and biologists who desire to build family members timber displaying tidy traces of descent. whereas dealing broadly with the interesting subject matters of gene discovery and database-searching, such books have infrequently thought of genomes as info channels by which a number of varieties and degrees of knowledge have gone through the generations. This “new bioinformatics” contrasts with the "old" gene-based bioinformatics that so preoccupies prior texts. varieties of details that we're acquainted with (mental, textual) are with regards to types with which we're much less frequent (hereditary). The e-book extends a line of evolutionary inspiration that leads from the 19th century (Darwin, Butler, Romanes, Bateson), throughout the 20th (Goldschmidt, White), and into the 21st (the ultimate works of the past due Stephen Jay Gould). lengthy a space of controversy, diverging perspectives may well now be reconciled.
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Later, he was more poetic : Some ideas crawl, some run, some fly; and in this case words are the wings they fly with, but they are only wings of thought or of ideas, they are not the thought or ideas themselves. ” Echoing Huxley, in 1880 he considered the unicellular amoeba : Let us suppose that this structureless morsel of protoplasm is, for all its structurelessness, composed of an infinite number of living molecules, each one of them with hopes and fears of its own, and all dwelling together like Tekke Turcomans, of whom we read that they live for plunder only, and that each man of them is entirely independent, acknowledging no constituted authority, but that some among them [DNA to the modern reader] exercise a tacit and undefined influence over the others.
This, however, Periodical Rhythms 9 is exactly what Professor Hering, whom I have unwittingly followed, does. He resolves all phenomena of heredity, whether in respect of body or mind, into phenomena of memory. He says in effect, ‘A man grows his body as he does, and a bird makes her nest as she does, because both man and bird remember having grown body and made nest as they now do … on innumerable past occasions. ” [Butler’s italics] Periodical Rhythms In 1880 in his book Unconscious Memory Butler employed the word “information” in the context of memory : Does the offspring act as if it remembered?
So, for many, the bioinformatic analysis of genomes came to mean the bioinformatic analysis of genes and their products. However, bioinformatics has become less gene-centered. Evolutionary bioinformatics – the ‘new bioinformatics’ – views genomes as channels conveying multiple forms of information through the generations from the distant past to the present. As with information channels in general, genomes can become overloaded so that conflicts between different forms of information can arise, and ‘noise’ can delay information transmission and imperil its accuracy.