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  1. Cancer: The Evolved Consequence of a Destabilized Genome.Garth R. Anderson, Daniel L. Stoler & Bruce M. Brenner - 2001 - Bioessays 23 (11):1037-1046.
  2. Toll-Like Receptor Signaling in Vertebrates: Testing the Integration of Protein, Complex, and Pathway Data in the Protein Ontology Framework.Cecilia Arighi, Veronica Shamovsky, Anna Maria Masci, Alan Ruttenberg, Barry Smith, Darren Natale, Cathy Wu & Peter D’Eustachio - 2015 - PLoS ONE 10 (4):e0122978.
    The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides terms for and supports annotation of species-specific protein complexes in an ontology framework that relates them both to their components and to species-independent families of complexes. Comprehensive curation of experimentally known forms and annotations thereof is expected to expose discrepancies, differences, and gaps in our knowledge. We have annotated the early events of innate immune signaling mediated by Toll-Like Receptor 3 and 4 complexes in human, mouse, and chicken. The resulting ontology and annotation data set (...)
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  3. What Do Identifiers in HL7 Identify? An Essay in the Ontology of Identity.Werner Ceusters - 2009 - In Mitsu Okada (ed.), Proceedings of InterOntology (Tokyo, Japan, February 27-March 1, 2009). Keio University.
    Health Level 7 (HL7) is an organization seeking to provide universal standards for the exchange of healthcare information. In a document entitled ‘HL7 Version 3 Standard: Data Types’, the HL7 organization advances descriptions of data types recommended for use as identifiers. We will argue that the descriptions supplied provide insufficient guidance as to what exactly the entities are which these data types uniquely identify. Are they real things, such as persons or pieces of equipment? Or are they representations of such (...)
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  4. Innateness as Genetic Adaptation: Lorenz Redivivus (and Revised).Nathan Cofnas - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (4):559-580.
    In 1965, Konrad Lorenz grounded the innate–acquired distinction in what he believed were the only two possible sources of information that can underlie adaptedness: phylogenetic and individual experience. Phylogenetic experience accumulates in the genome by the process of natural selection. Individual experience is acquired ontogenetically through interacting with the environment during the organism’s lifetime. According to Lorenz, the adaptive information underlying innate traits is stored in the genome. Lorenz erred in arguing that genetic adaptation is the only means of accumulating (...)
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  5. FRUSTRATION: PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PREREQUISITES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SYNTHETIC CELL.Antoine Danchin & Agnieszka Sekowska - 2008 - In Martin G. Hicks and Carsten Kettner (ed.), Proceedings of the International Beilstein Symposium on Systems Chemistry May 26th – 30th, 2008 Bozen, Italy. Beilstein Institute. pp. 1-19.
    To construct a synthetic cell we need to understand the rules that permit life. A central idea in modern biology is that in addition to the four entities making reality, matter, energy, space and time, a fifth one, information, plays a central role. As a consequence of this central importance of the management of information, the bacterial cell is organised as a Turing machine, where the machine, with its compartments defining an inside and an outside and its metabolism, reads and (...)
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  6. The Information Value of Non-Genetic Inheritance in Plants and Animals.Sinead English, Ido Pen, Nicholas Shea & Tobias Uller - 2015 - PLoS ONE 10 (1):e0116996.
    Parents influence the development of their offspring in many ways beyond the transmission of DNA. This includes transfer of epigenetic states, nutrients, antibodies and hormones, and behavioural interactions after birth. While the evolutionary consequences of such nongenetic inheritance are increasingly well understood, less is known about how inheritance mechanisms evolve. Here, we present a simple but versatile model to explore the adaptive evolution of non-genetic inheritance. Our model is based on a switch mechanism that produces alternative phenotypes in response to (...)
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  7. The Introduction of Information Into Neurobiology.Justin Garson - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):926-936.
    The first use of the term "information" to describe the content of nervous impulse occurs 20 years prior to Shannon`s (1948) work, in Edgar Adrian`s The Basis of Sensation (1928). Although, at least throughout the 1920s and early 30s, the term "information" does not appear in Adrian`s scientific writings to describe the content of nervous impulse, the notion that the structure of nervous impulse constitutes a type of message subject to certain constraints plays an important role in all of his (...)
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  8. Model for DNA and Protein Interactions and the Function of the Operator.Alfred Gierer - 1966 - Nature 212:1480-1481.
    The short paper introduces the concept of possible branches of double-stranded DNA (later sometimes called palindromes): Certain sequences of nucleotides may be followed, after a short unpaired stretch, by a complementary sequence in reversed order, such that each DNA strand can fold back on itself, and the DNA assumes a cruciform or tree-like structure. This is postulated to interact with regulatory proteins. -/- .
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  9. Function of Aggregated Reticulocyte Ribosomes in Protein Synthesis.Alfred Gierer - 1963 - J. Mol. Biol 6:148-157.
    Applying mild methods of preparation, part of the ribosomes of rabbit reticulocytes are found in aggregates (later called polyribosomes) of up to six ribosomal units. Upon treatment with RNA-ase, they desintegrate into single ribosomes. The fast-sedimenting aggregates are found to be more active in protein synthesis in terms of incorporation of radioactive amino acids, whereas the single ribosomes are more receptive to stimulation by the artificial messenger RNA poly-U. The findings indicate that the linkage of ribosomes into aggregates is due (...)
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  10. Structure and Biological Function of Ribonucleic Acid From Tobacco Mosaic Virus.Alfred Gierer - 1957 - Nature 179:1297-1299.
    Within the sedimentation diagram of infective RNA preparations isolated from Tobacco Mosaic Virus, undegraded molecules form a sharp peak with a molecular weight corresponding to the total RNA content of the virus particle. Degradation kinetics by ribonuclease is of the linear, single-target type, indicating that the RNA is single-stranded. The intact RNA of a virus particle thus forms one big single-stranded molecule. Quantitative evaluation of the effect degradation by RNA-ase on the infectivity of the RNA shows that the integrity of (...)
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  11. Production of Mutants of Tobacco Mosaic Virus by Chemical Alteration of its Nucleic Acid in Vitro.Alfred Gierer & K. W. Mundry - 1958 - Nature 182:1457-1458.
    The generation of viral mutants in vitro was demonstrated by treatment of the isolated RNA of Tobacco Mosaic Virus by nitrous acid. This agent causes deaminations converting cytosine into uracil, and adenine into hypoxanthine. Our assay for mutagenesis was the production of local lesions on a tobacco variety on which the untreated strain produces systemic infections only. A variety of different mutants are generated in this way. Quantitative analysis of the kinetics of mutagenesis leads to the conclusion that alteration of (...)
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  12. Infectivity of Ribonucleic Acid From Tobacco Mosaic Virus.Alfred Gierer & Gerhard Schramm - 1956 - Nature 177:702-703.
    Upon separation of the protein from the nucleic acid component of tobacco mosaic virus by phenol, using a fast and gentle procedure, the nucleic acid is infective in assays on tobacco leaves. A series of qualitative and quantitative control experiments demonstrates that the biological activity cannot depend on residual proteins in the preparation, but is a property of isolated nucleic acid which is thus the genetic material of the virus.
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  13. The Development of Non-Coding RNA Ontology.Jingshan Huang, Karen Eilbeck, Barry Smith, Judith Blake, Deijing Dou, Weili Huang, Darren Natale, Alan Ruttenberg, Jun Huan, Michael Zimmermann, Guoqian Jiang, Yu Lin, Bin Wu, Harrison Strachan, Nisansa de Silva & Mohan Vamsi Kasukurthi - 2016 - International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics 15 (3):214--232.
    Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly improved over the past decade. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data is facing critical challenges due to the lack of a comprehensive ontology to serve as common data elements and data exchange standards in the field. We developed the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) to handle this situation. By providing a formally defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, the NCRO aims to fill a specific and highly needed niche in semantic annotation of (...)
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  14. Transformations of Lamarckism: From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology.Eva Jablonka & Snait Gissis (eds.) - forthcoming - MIT Press.
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  15. Enhancing GO for the Sake of Clinical Bioinformatics.Anand Kumar & Barry Smith - 2004 - Proceedings of the Bio-Ontologies Workshop , Glasgow 133.
    Recent work on the quality assurance of the Gene Ontology (GO, Gene Ontology Consortium 2004) from the perspective of both linguistic and ontological organization has made it clear that GO lacks the kind of formalism needed to support logic-based reasoning. At the same time it is no less clear that GO has proven itself to be an excellent terminological resource that can serve to combine together a variety of biomedical database and information systems. Given the strengths of GO, it is (...)
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  16. The Metastable Genome: A Lamarckian Organ in a Darwinian World?Ehud Lamm - 2011 - In Eva Jablonka & Snait Gissis (eds.), Transformations of Lamarckism: from subtle fluids to molecular biology. MIT Press.
    This article is arranged around two general claims and a thought experiment. I begin by suggesting that the genome should be studied as a developmental system, and that genes supervene on genomes (rather than the other way around). I move on to present a thought experiment that illustrates the implications a dynamic view of the genome has for central concepts in biology, in particular the information content of the genome, and the notion of responses to stress.
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  17. The Resurrection of Innateness.James Maclaurin - 2002 - In The Monist. pp. 105-130.
    The notion of innateness is widely used, particularly in philosophy of mind, cognitive science and linguistics. Despite this popularity, it remains a controversial idea. This is partly because of the variety of ways in which it can be explicated and partly because it appears to embody the suggestion that we can determine the relative causal contributions of genes and environment in the development of biological individuals. As these causes are not independent, the claim is metaphysically suspect. This paper argues that (...)
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  18. Protein Ontology: A Controlled Structured Network of Protein Entities.A. Natale Darren, N. Arighi Cecilia, A. Blake Judith, J. Bult Carol, R. Christie Karen, Cowart Julie, D’Eustachio Peter, D. Diehl Alexander, J. Drabkin Harold, Helfer Olivia, Barry Smith & Others - 2013 - Nucleic Acids Research 42 (1):D415-21..
    The Protein Ontology (PRO; http://proconsortium.org) formally defines protein entities and explicitly represents their major forms and interrelations. Protein entities represented in PRO corresponding to single amino acid chains are categorized by level of specificity into family, gene, sequence and modification metaclasses, and there is a separate metaclass for protein complexes. All metaclasses also have organism-specific derivatives. PRO complements established sequence databases such as UniProtKB, and interoperates with other biomedical and biological ontologies such as the Gene Ontology (GO). PRO relates to (...)
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  19. Are Genetic Representations Read in Development?R. J. Planer - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):997-1023.
    The status of genes as bearers of semantic content remains very much in dispute among philosophers of biology. In a series of papers, Nicholas Shea has argued that his ‘infotel’ theory of semantics vindicates the claim that genes carry semantic content. On Shea’s account, each organism is associated with a ‘developmental system’ that takes genetic representations as inputs and produces whole-organism traits as outputs. Moreover, at least in his most recent work on the topic, Shea is explicit in claiming that (...)
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  20. Gene-Concept Pluralism, Causal Specificity, and Information. [REVIEW]Ronald J. Planer - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C.
  21. Inherited Representations Are Read in Development.Nicholas Shea - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):1-31.
    Recent theoretical work has identified a tightly-constrained sense in which genes carry representational content. Representational properties of the genome are founded in the transmission of DNA over phylogenetic time and its role in natural selection. However, genetic representation is not just relevant to questions of selection and evolution. This paper goes beyond existing treatments and argues for the heterodox view that information generated by a process of selection over phylogenetic time can be read in ontogenetic time, in the course of (...)
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  22. Genetic Representation Explains the Cluster of Innateness-Related Properties.Nicholas Shea - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (4):466-493.
    The concept of innateness is used to make inferences between various better-understood properties, like developmental canalization, evolutionary adaptation, heritability, species-typicality, and so on (‘innateness-related properties’). This article uses a recently-developed account of the representational content carried by inheritance systems like the genome to explain why innateness-related properties cluster together, especially in non-human organisms. Although inferences between innateness-related properties are deductively invalid, and lead to false conclusions in many actual cases, where some aspect of a phenotypic trait develops in reliance on (...)
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  23. Representation in the Genome and in Other Inheritance Systems.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):313-331.
    There is ongoing controversy as to whether the genome is a representing system. Although it is widely recognised that DNA carries information, both correlating with and coding for various outcomes, neither of these implies that the genome has semantic properties like correctness or satisfaction conditions, In the Scope of Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Sciences, Vol. II. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 387–400). Here a modified version of teleosemantics is applied to the genome to show that it does indeed have semantic (...)
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  24. Causal Selection Versus Causal Parity in Biology: Relevant Counterfactuals and Biologically Normal Interventions.Marcel Weber - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters & James Woodward (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Causal Reasoning in Biology. Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science. Vol. XXI. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Causal selection is the task of picking out, from a field of known causally relevant factors, some factors as elements of an explanation. The Causal Parity Thesis in the philosophy of biology challenges the usual ways of making such selections among different causes operating in a developing organism. The main target of this thesis is usually gene centrism, the doctrine that genes play some special role in ontogeny, which is often described in terms of information-bearing or programming. This paper is (...)
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  25. Which Kind of Causal Specificity Matters Biologically?Marcel Weber - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):574-585.
    Griffiths et al. (2015) have proposed a quantitative measure of causal specificity and used it to assess various attempts to single out genetic causes as being causally more specific than other cellular mechanisms, for example, alternative splicing. Focusing in particular on developmental processes, they have identified a number of important challenges for this project. In this discussion note, I would like to show how these challenges can be met.
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  26. Genes, Causation and Intentionality.Marcel Weber - 2005 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):399-411.
    I want to exhibit the deeper metaphysical reasons why some common ways of describing the causal role of genes in development and evolution are problematic. Specifically, I show why using the concept of information in an intentional sense in genetics is inappropriate, even given a naturalistic account of intentionality. Furthermore, I argue that descriptions that use notions such as programming, directing or orchestrating are problematic not for empirical reasons, but because they are not strictly causal. They are intentional. By contrast, (...)
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