Philosophy of Biology

Edited by Manolo Martínez (Universitat de Barcelona)
Assistant editor: Wiseley Wong (University of Western Ontario)
182 found
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1 — 50 / 182
  1. added 2019-09-15
    A New, New Definition of Evolution by Natural Selection.Marion Blute - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-2.
    This note provides a definition of evolution by natural selection that is compatible with the extended evolutionary synthesis.
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  2. added 2019-09-15
    Planet Earth II: BBC Television.Joshua McGuffie - 2019 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (3):505-507.
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  3. added 2019-09-15
    The Poitiers School of Mathematical and Theoretical Biology: Besson–Gavaudan–Schützenberger’s Conjectures on Genetic Code and RNA Structures.J. Demongeot & H. Hazgui - 2016 - Acta Biotheoretica 64 (4):403-426.
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  4. added 2019-09-14
    A lban F rei, Sichtbare Netzwerke. Forschungspolitik und Life - Sciences zwischen 1990 und 2016 in der Schweiz. Eine Fallstudie zu SystemsX.ch, Zürich: Chronos Verlag, 2018, 272 pp., CHF 38.00/EUR 38.00. [REVIEW]Fridolin Gross - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):37.
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  5. added 2019-09-14
    Further Clarification on Permissive and Instructive Causes.Brett Calcott - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):50.
    I respond to recent criticism of my analysis of the permissive-instructive distinction and outline problems with the alternative analysis on offer. Amongst other problems, I argue that the use of formal measures is unclear and unmotivated, that the distinction is conflated with others that are not equivalent, and that no good reasons are provided for thinking the alternative model or formal measure tracks what biologists are interested in. I also clarify my own analysis where it has been misunderstood or ignored.
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  6. added 2019-09-13
    A Conceptualist View in the Metaphysics of Species.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - 2019 - In Richard Davies (ed.), Natural and Artifactual Objects in Contemporary Metaphysics: Exercises in Analytic Ontology. pp. 121-139.
    The species concept is one of the central concepts in biological science. Although modern systematics speculates about the existence of a complex hierarchy of nested taxa, biological species are considered particularly important for the active role they play in evolution. However, neither theoretical biologists nor philosophers of biology have come to an agreement about what a species is. In this chapter, we address two questions pertaining to biological species: (1) are they individuals or universals? and (2) are they bona fide (...)
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  7. added 2019-09-13
    The Machine Conception of the Organism in Development and Evolution: A Critical Analysis.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:162-174.
    This article critically examines one of the most prevalent metaphors in modern biology, namely the machine conception of the organism (MCO). Although the fundamental differences between organisms and machines make the MCO an inadequate metaphor for conceptualizing living systems, many biologists and philosophers continue to draw upon the MCO or tacitly accept it as the standard model of the organism. This paper analyses the specific difficulties that arise when the MCO is invoked in the study of development and evolution. In (...)
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  8. added 2019-09-12
    A listair S ponsel, Darwin’s Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018, x + 358 pp., $50.00. [REVIEW]Greg Priest - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):36.
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  9. added 2019-09-12
    Ecological Kinds and the Units of Conservation.Christopher Lean - 2018 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    Conservation has often been conducted with the implicit internalization of Aldo Leopold’s claim: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community.” This position has been found to be problematic as ecological science has not vindicated the ecological community as an entity which can be stable or coherent. Ecological communities do not form natural kinds, and this has forced ecological scientists to explain ecology in a different manner. Individualist approaches to ecological (...)
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  10. added 2019-09-11
    Sensitivity Analysis of a Left Ventricle Model in the Context of Intraventricular Dyssynchrony.Virginie Le Rolle, Elena Galli, David Danan, Karim El Houari, Arnaud Hubert, Erwan Donal & Alfredo I. Hernández - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  11. added 2019-09-11
    Norm-Establishing and Norm-Following in Autonomous Agency.Xabier Barandiaran & Matthew Egbert - 2013 - Artificial Life 91 (2):1-24.
    Living agency is subject to a normative dimension (good-bad, adaptive-maladaptive) that is absent from other types of interaction. We review current and historical attempts to naturalize normativity from an organism-centered perspective, identifying two central problems and their solution: (1) How to define the topology of the viability space so as to include a sense of gradation that permits reversible failure, and (2) how to relate both the processes that establish norms and those that result in norm-following behavior. We present a (...)
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  12. added 2019-09-10
    Form and Function in the Imitative Learning of Language: Comment on “Replication and Emergence in Cultural Transmission” by Monica Tamariz.Richard Moore - forthcoming - Physics of Life Reviews.
  13. added 2019-09-10
    Graphical Causal Models of Social Adaptation and Hamilton’s Rule.Wes Anderson - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):48.
    Part of Allen et al.’s criticism of Hamilton’s rule makes sense only if we are interested in social adaptation rather than merely social selection. Under the assumption that we are interested in casually modeling social adaptation, I illustrate how graphical causal models of social adaptation can be useful for predicting evolution by adaptation. I then argue for two consequences of this approach given some of the recent philosophical literature. I argue Birch’s claim that the proper way to understand Hamilton’s rule (...)
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  14. added 2019-09-10
    I—A More Radical Solution to the Race Problem.Quayshawn Spencer - 2019 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 93 (1):25-48.
    One debate that metaphysicians of race have been consumed with since the 1990s is what we can call the US race debate, which is the debate about what the nature and reality of race is according to the dominant ways that ‘race’ and race terms are used to classify people in contemporary American English. In 2014, I contributed a defence of biological racial realism in the US race debate that utilized new results about human genetic clustering from population genetics. In (...)
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  15. added 2019-09-10
    Ibuanyidanda Neotic Propaedeutic Principle as an Afrocentric Environmental Prognosis to the Problems of Climate Change in the Twenty First Century.Ubong Iniobong David & Efio-Ita Nyok - 2019 - Int. J. Of Environmental Pollution andEnvironmental Modelling 2 (3):177-185.
    The activities of man and other beings on a daily basis have been the primordial antecedence for the negative changes experienced in the environment today. Nature in its rudimentary state was harmless and friendly to man and its inhabitants. But owing to the egocentric approaches of man towards the environment, fundamentally for the purpose of earning a living and advancing development, man manipulates every available resources to his favor including the environment. These egomaniacal demeanor has propelled the once harmless nature (...)
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  16. added 2019-09-10
    Logical Fallacies and Reasonable Debates in Invasion Biology: A Response to Guiaşu and Tindale.David M. Frank, Daniel Simberloff, Jordan Bush, Angela Chuang & Christy Leppanen - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):49.
    This critical note responds to Guiaşu and Tindale’s “Logical fallacies and invasion biology,” from our perspective as ecologists and philosophers of science engaged in debates about invasion biology and invasive species. We agree that “the level of charges and dismissals” surrounding these debates might be “unhealthy” and that “it will be very difficult for dialogues to move forward unless genuine attempts are made to understand the positions being held and to clarify the terms involved.” Although they raise several important scientific, (...)
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  17. added 2019-09-09
    Coordination Instead of Consensus Classification: Insights From Systematics for Bio-Ontologies.Beckett Sterner, Joeri Witteveen & Nico Franz - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
    Big data is opening new angles on old questions about scientific progress. Is scientific knowledge cumulative? If yes, how does it make progress? In the life sciences, what we call the Consensus Principle has dominated the design of data discovery and integration tools: the design of a formal classificatory system for expressing a body of data should be grounded in consensus. Based on current approaches in biomedicine and systematic biology, we formulate and compare three types of the Consensus Principle: realist, (...)
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  18. added 2019-09-09
    Reciprocal Causation and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Andrew Buskell - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-13.
    Kevin Laland and colleagues have put forward a number of arguments motivating an extended evolutionary synthesis. Here I examine Laland et al.'s central concept of reciprocal causation. Reciprocal causation features in many arguments supporting an expanded evolutionary framework, yet few of these arguments are clearly delineated. Here I clarify the concept and make explicit three arguments in which it features. I identify where skeptics can—and are—pushing back against these arguments, and highlight what I see as the empirical, explanatory, and methodological (...)
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  19. added 2019-09-09
    Inclusive Fitness as a Criterion for Improvement.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 76:101186.
    I distinguish two roles for a fitness concept in the context of explaining cumulative adaptive evolution: fitness as a predictor of gene frequency change, and fitness as a criterion for phenotypic improvement. Critics of inclusive fitness argue, correctly, that it is not an ideal fitness concept for the purpose of predicting gene-frequency change, since it relies on assumptions about the causal structure of social interaction that are unlikely to be exactly true in real populations, and that hold as approximations only (...)
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  20. added 2019-09-09
    Relational Basis of the Organism's Self-Organization A Philosophical Discussion.Çağlar Karaca - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Exeter
    In this thesis, I discuss the organism's self-organization from the perspective of relational ontology. I critically examine scientific and philosophical sources that appeal to the concept of self-organization. By doing this, I aim to carry out a thorough investigation into the underlying reasons of emergent order within the ontogeny of the organism. Moreover, I focus on the relation between universal dynamics of organization and the organization of living systems. I provide a historical review of the development of modern ideas related (...)
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  21. added 2019-09-09
    Hungry Because of Change: Food, Vulnerability, and Climate.Alison Reiheld - 2017 - In Mary C. Rawlinson & Caleb Ward (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 201-210.
    In this book chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics, I examine the moral responsibility that agents have for hunger resulting from climate change. I introduce the problem of global changes in food production and distribution due to climate change, explore how philosophical conceptions of vulnerability can help us to make sense of what happens to people who are or will be hungry because of climate change, and establish some obligations regarding vulnerability to hunger.
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  22. added 2019-09-08
    Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems: Building a Community Around Responsible Research on Emergence.Matthew Sample, Marion Boulicault, Caley Allen, Rashid Bashir, Insoo Hyun, Megan Levis, Caroline Lowenthal, David Mertz & Nuria Montserrat - 2019 - Biofabrication 11 (4).
    Ranging from miniaturized biological robots to organoids, multi-cellular engineered living systems (M-CELS) pose complex ethical and societal challenges. Some of these challenges, such as how to best distribute risks and benefits, are likely to arise in the development of any new technology. Other challenges arise specifically because of the particular characteristics of M-CELS. For example, as an engineered living system becomes increasingly complex, it may provoke societal debate about its moral considerability, perhaps necessitating protection from harm or recognition of positive (...)
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  23. added 2019-09-08
    Whose Turn? Chromosome Research and the Study of the Human Genome.Soraya Chadarevian - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 51 (4):631-655.
    A common account sees the human genome sequencing project of the 1990s as a “natural outgrowth” of the deciphering of the double helical structure of DNA in the 1950s. The essay aims to complicate this neat narrative by putting the spotlight on the field of human chromosome research that flourished at the same time as molecular biology. It suggests that we need to consider both endeavors – the human cytogeneticists who collected samples and looked down the microscope and the molecular (...)
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  24. added 2019-09-07
    The Foundations of Concordance Views of Phylogeny.Joel D. Velasco - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11.
    Despite the enormous importance and widespread use of the term, it is unclear exactly what a phylogeny represents. It is important to define phylogeny precisely since other central terms like “clade” and “monophyletic” are often defined relative to phylogenetic trees and on some views in taxonomy, taxa must be clades. Edwards presents the common picture in contemporary systematics as depending on the existence of a “species tree” in which phylogeny “records the branching pattern of evolving lineages through time”. But what, (...)
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  25. added 2019-09-06
    Receptor‐Free Signaling at Curved Cellular Membranes.Mirsana P. Ebrahimkutty & Milos Galic - forthcoming - Bioessays.
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  26. added 2019-09-06
    The Evolution of Languages of Thought.Ronald J. Planer - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):1-27.
    The idea that cognition makes use of one or more “languages of thought” remains central to much cognitive-scientific and philosophical theorizing. And yet, virtually no attention has been paid to the question of how a language of thought might evolve in the first place. In this article, I take some steps towards addressing this issue. With the aid of the so-called Sender–Receiver framework, I elucidate a family of distinctions and processes which enable us to see how languages of thought might (...)
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  27. added 2019-09-06
    Mechanisms, Then and Now: From Metaphysics to Practice.Stathis Psillos & Stavros Ioannidis - 2019 - In Brigitte Falkenburg & Gregor Schiemann (eds.), Mechanistic Explanations in Physics and Beyond. Cham: Springer Nature. pp. 11-31.
    For many old and new mechanists, Mechanism is both a metaphysical position and a thesis about scientific methodology. In this paper we discuss the relation between the metaphysics of mechanisms and the role of mechanical explanation in the practice of science, by presenting and comparing the key tenets of Old and New Mechanism. First, by focusing on the case of gravity, we show how the metaphysics of Old Mechanism constrained scientific explanation, and discuss Newton’s critique of Old Mechanism. Second, we (...)
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  28. added 2019-09-05
    Food, Animals, and the Environment: An Ethical Approach; By Christopher Schlottmann and Jeff Sebo. [REVIEW]Kyle Johannsen - forthcoming - Philosophy in Review.
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  29. added 2019-09-05
    C hristopher J. A ustin, Essence in the age of evolution: a new theory of natural kinds, New York and Oxon: Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 2019, 144 pp., £115.00. [REVIEW]Silvia Basanta Martínez - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):35.
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  30. added 2019-09-05
    The Commercialization of the Biomedical Sciences: (Mis)Understanding Bias.Inmaculada de Melo-Martín - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):34.
    The growing commercialization of scientific research has raised important concerns about industry bias. According to some evidence, so-called industry bias can affect the integrity of the science as well as the direction of the research agenda. I argue that conceptualizing industry’s influence in scientific research in terms of bias is unhelpful. Insofar as industry sponsorship negatively affects the integrity of the research, it does so through biasing mechanisms that can affect any research independently of the source of funding. Talk about (...)
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  31. added 2019-09-04
    Why Does the Web Seem to Bring Out the Best in Science but the Worst in Politics?Dave Speijer - forthcoming - Bioessays:1900134.
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  32. added 2019-09-02
    A Host–Parasite System with Multiple Parasite Strains and Superinfection Revisited: The Global Dynamics.Lili Liu, Xinzhi Ren & Xianning Liu - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  33. added 2019-09-02
    A Global-Scale Mid-Domain Effect Cannot Explain the Latitudinal Gradient in Species Richness.Thomas W. Fieldsend - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  34. added 2019-09-02
    Hume, Teleology, and the 'Science of Man'.Lorenzo Greco & Dan O'Brien - 2019 - In William Gibson, Dan O'Brien & Marius Turda (eds.), Teleology and Modernity. New York-London: Routledge.
    There are various forms of teleological thinking central to debates in the early modern and modern periods, debates in which David Hume (1711–1776) is a key figure. In the first section, we shall introduce three levels at which teleological considerations have been incorporated into philosophical accounts of man and nature, and sketch Hume’s criticisms of these approaches. In the second section, we turn to Hume’s non-teleological ‘science of man’. In the third section, we show how Hume has an account of (...)
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  35. added 2019-09-01
    Téléologie et fonctions en biologie. Une approche non causale des explications téléofonctionnelles.Alberto Molina Pérez - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
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  36. added 2019-08-30
    A GPU Algorithm for Agent-Based Models to Simulate the Integration of Cell Membrane Signals.Arthur Douillet & Pascal Ballet - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  37. added 2019-08-30
    Gould’s Laws: A Second Perspective.Max Dresow - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):46.
    In a recent paper, Chris Haufe paints a provocative portrait of the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. His principal aim is to resolve a “paradox” arising from a prima facie inconsistent pair of commitments: Gould believed that the biological facts could have been otherwise, and Gould believed that there are evolutionary laws. In order to resolve this paradox, Haufe makes two substantive claims: Gould was aware of the challenges that the Replay Thesis posed for a law-centered science of evolution, even (...)
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  38. added 2019-08-28
    Pervasive Captivity and Urban Wildlife.Nicolas Delon - manuscript
    Urban animals can benefit from living in cities, but this also makes them vulnerable as they increasingly depend on the advantages of urban life. This article has two aims. First, I provide a detailed analysis of the concept of captivity and explain why it matters to nonhuman animals—because and insofar as many of them have a (non-substitutable) interest in freedom. Second, I defend a surprising implication of the account—pushing the boundaries of the concept while the boundaries of cities and human (...)
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  39. added 2019-08-28
    A Heideggerian Perspective on Thinking About Water.Kalpita Bhar Paul - forthcoming - Environmental Philosophy.
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  40. added 2019-08-28
    R ussell B onduriansky & T roy D ay, Extended heredity : a new understanding of inheritance and evolution, Princeton University Press, 2018, 288 pp, ISBN 9780691157672. [REVIEW]Gaëlle Pontarotti & Arantza Etxeberria - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):33.
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  41. added 2019-08-28
    Time to elaborate on some of Scholander’s ideas: Does even a rudimentary form of the response of diving mammals exist in humans?Michael John Parkes - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):32.
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  42. added 2019-08-27
    How the Membrane Attack Complex Damages the Bacterial Cell Envelope and Kills Gram‐Negative Bacteria.Dennis J. Doorduijn, Suzan H. M. Rooijakkers & Dani A. C. Heesterbeek - forthcoming - Bioessays.
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  43. added 2019-08-26
    On Computing Structural and Behavioral Complexities of Threshold Boolean Networks.Urvan Christen, Sergiu Ivanov, Rémi Segretain, Laurent Trilling & Nicolas Glade - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  44. added 2019-08-25
    The Aristotelian Conception of Habit and its Contribution to Human Neuroscience.José Ignacio Murillo & Javier Bernacer - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:1-10.
    The notion of habit used in neuroscience is an inheritance from a particular theoretical origin, whose main source is William James. Thus, habits have been characterized as rigid, automatic, unconscious, and opposed to goal-directed actions. This analysis leaves unexplained several aspects of human behavior and cognition where habits are of great importance. We intend to demonstrate the utility that another philosophical conception of habit, the Aristotelian, may have for neuroscientific research. We first summarize the current notion of habit in neuroscience, (...)
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  45. added 2019-08-24
    Displacing the Productionist Paradigm: A Comment on Paul Thompson's Spirit of the Soil, 2nd Edition.Clark Wolf - forthcoming - Ethics, Policy and Environment:1-8.
    ABSTRACTPaul Thompson's book The Spirit of the Soil first appeared in 1995, and has been re-issued in a new edition in 2017. This comment on the new edition addresses Thompson's argument concerning...
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  46. added 2019-08-23
    Essay in Formal Biology.Nikolay Milkov - forthcoming - In Newton da Costa & Shyam Wuppuluri (eds.), Wittgensteinian (adj.): Looking at the World from the Viewpoint of Wittgenstein's Philosophy. Berlin: Springer.
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  47. added 2019-08-23
    Viral Detection: Past, Present, and Future.Konstantina Katsarou, Eirini Bardani, Paraskevi Kallemi & Kriton Kalantidis - forthcoming - Bioessays.
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  48. added 2019-08-23
    Overpopulation and Procreative Liberty.Greg Bognar - forthcoming - Ethics, Policy and Environment:1-12.
    ABSTRACTA few decades ago, there was a lively debate on the problem of overpopulation. Various proposals to limit population growth and to control fertility were made and debated both in academia a...
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  49. added 2019-08-23
    The Bio-Evolutionary Anthropocene Hypothesis: Rethinking the Role of Human-Induced Novel Organisms in Evolution.Catarina Lira & Pablo Pena Rodrigues - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (3):141-150.
    Anthropogenic changes in the biosphere, driven mainly by human cultural habits and technological advances, are altering the direction of evolution on Earth, with ongoing and permanent changes modifying uncountable interactions between organisms, the environment, and humankind itself. While numerous species may go extinct, others will be favored due to strong human influences. The Bio-Evolutionary Anthropocene hypothesizes that directly or indirectly human-driven organisms, including alien species, hybrids, and genetically modified organisms, will have major roles in the evolution of life on Earth, (...)
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  50. added 2019-08-22
    Prominent Inhibitory Projections Guide Sensorimotor Computation: An Invertebrate Perspective.Samantha Hughes & Tansu Celikel - forthcoming - Bioessays:1900088.
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