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Saturday, December 02, 2000

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find related articles. powered by google. HMS Beagle Who Wrote the Book of Life: A History of the Genetic Code
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"What does it mean to say that we live in an information age? The description trips easily off the tongues of entrepreneurs, politicians, and journalists, but its application to nearly every aspect of the way we live now, paradoxically, makes it harder to define. How much longer before silicon becomes so omnipresent as to be invisible? Has this already happened? This question is equally important to biologists, for whom the idea of information is now technically and conceptually essential. In a recent essay in The Quarterly Review of Biology, evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith outlined many of the obvious ways in which terminology related to information has taken its place as the standard vocabulary of biology, including "transcription, translation, code, library, message, editing, and proofreading." [1] And yet, despite its relevance to the development of biological ideas, Maynard Smith argues that information has been underappreciated or ignored by philosophers of biology.

This gap in the history and philosophy of biology has now been closed. In Who Wrote the Book of Life? A History of the Genetic Code, Harvard scientific historian Lily Kay has written an exhaustive account of the elucidation of the genetic code, with an emphasis on the role of information science as a catalyst."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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