By Charbel Nino El-Hani, Joao Queiroz, Claus Emmeche, Peeter Torop, Kalevi Kull, Silvi Salupere
As much as the center of the 20 th century, biologists studied genes with out seeing them as informational constructions; info conception was once an engineering software now not facing the that means of messages; and, semiotics, the examine of symptoms and their that means, dealt simply with human tradition. this present day - after development in molecular biology and a naturalist flip commonly semiotics - researchers are starting to become aware of that genes, info and semiosis, or signal motion, can not be understood in isolation. This perception derives from a brand new medical box. Biosemiotics investigates the which means, interpretation, communique, and behavior formation of residing platforms, and the biochemical stipulations for signal motion. This e-book clarifies the data speak in molecular and structures biology through construction a semiotic version of genes and protein synthesis. it truly is in keeping with the easiest medical realizing, and it really is non-reductionist, integrating indicators, molecules, and ordinary interpretation. It deals a brand new definition of gene in biology, and an realizing of knowledge that doesn't decrease it to electronic bits, yet sees it as on the topic of the types and procedures of dwelling organisms. Readers now not accustomed to molecular biology or semiotics are supplied with short introductions to simple ideas. The e-book is a problem to entrenched ideals within the anthropic nature of symptoms and the tremendous nature of genes. No medical revolutions are provided, yet a suite of deeper insights into a thrilling, new go disciplinary point of view upon existence and symptoms.
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Additional resources for Genes, Information, and Semiosis
In the evolution of the gene concept, two basic approaches to this problem played an important role (Kitcher 1982). In one approach, genes were to be found in chromosomes through their functions in the production of phenotypic effects. In another, genes should be identified by means of their immediate action. The first approach was characteristic of classical genetics, the second, of molecular genetics. Therefore, in molecular genetics the tension between a functional and a structural view of the gene remained, but the classical molecular gene concept contribute to dissolve this tension by bringing a structural dimension to the, until then, predominantly functional view of the gene as a unit.
This model has the advantage of breaking with the arbitrary distinction between units and non-units in the genome. Nevertheless, it faces a host of problems which arguably make its costs overcome its benefits. Most of these problems are related to the fact that there are many different types of regulatory elements, generally operating in complex and varied combinations. There are cis-acting factors which influence transcription independently of their distance from the coding sequences, such as enhancers and silencers, making it difficult to empirically assign the boundaries of a gene.
Generally speaking, systems which depend on high levels of variability to function properly, such as the immune and the nervous systems, show intense processes of permutation of modules and transcriptional motives during ontogeny. Moreover, an increase in the complexity of regulatory mechanisms underlying these processes, rather than in the number of genes, is responsible for huge differences between species in the case of these systems. Enard and colleagues (2002), for instance, argue that the human brain shows a higher molecular complexity than the brains of other primates, such as chimpanzees, orangutans, and rhesus monkeys, due to changes in gene expression patterns during recent human evolution.