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  1. Morphogenesis, Dictyostelium, and the Search for Shared Developmental Processes.Mary Evelyn Sunderland - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):508-517.
  • Gateway, Instrument, Environment.Christian Reiß - 2012 - NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 20 (4):309-336.
  • The Right Tool and the Right Place for the Job: The Importance of the Field in Experimental Neurophysiology, 1880–1945.Samantha K. Muka - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (3).
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  • Silent Performances: Are “Repertoires” Really Post-Kuhnian?Matthew Sample - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 61:51-56.
    Ankeny and Leonelli propose “repertoires” as a new way to understand the stability of certain research programs as well as scientific change in general. By bringing a more complete range of social, material, and epistemic elements into one framework, they position their work as a correction for the Kuhnian impulse in philosophy of science and other areas of science studies. I argue that this “post-Kuhnian” move is not complete, and that repertoires maintain an internalist perspective, caused partly by an asymmetrical (...)
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  • Models in Medicine.Michael Wilde & Jon Williamson - unknown
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  • Making Organisms Model Human Behavior: Situated Models in North-American Alcohol Research, Since 1950.Rachel A. Ankeny, Sabina Leonelli, Nicole C. Nelson & Edmund Ramsden - 2014 - Science in Context 27 (3):485-509.
    ArgumentWe examine the criteria used to validate the use of nonhuman organisms in North-American alcohol addiction research from the 1950s to the present day. We argue that this field, where the similarities between behaviors in humans and non-humans are particularly difficult to assess, has addressed questions of model validity by transforming the situatedness of non-human organisms into an experimental tool. We demonstrate that model validity does not hinge on the standardization of one type of organism in isolation, as often the (...)
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  • Model Organisms as Simulators: The Context of Cross-Species Research and Emergence.Sim-Hui Tee - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (4):363-382.
    Model organisms are a living form of scientific models. Despite the widespread use of model organisms in scientific research, the actual representational relationship between model organisms and their target species is often poorly characterized in the context of cross-species research. Many model organisms do not represent the target species adequately, let alone accurately. This is partly due to the complex and emergent life phenomena in the organism, and partly due to the fact that a model organism is always taken to (...)
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  • The Turn of the Valve: Representing with Material Models.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - unknown
    Many scientific models are representations. Building on Goodman and Elgin’s notion of representation-as we analyse what this claim involves by providing a general definition of what makes something a scientific model, and formulating a novel account of how they represent. We call the result the DEKI account of representation, which offers a complex kind of representation involving an interplay of, denotation, exemplification, keying up of properties, and imputation. Throughout we focus on material models, and we illustrate our claims with the (...)
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  • Experimental Modeling in Biology: In Vivo Representation and Stand-Ins As Modeling Strategies.Marcel Weber - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):756-769.
    Experimental modeling in biology involves the use of living organisms (not necessarily so-called "model organisms") in order to model or simulate biological processes. I argue here that experimental modeling is a bona fide form of scientific modeling that plays an epistemic role that is distinct from that of ordinary biological experiments. What distinguishes them from ordinary experiments is that they use what I call "in vivo representations" where one kind of causal process is used to stand in for a physically (...)
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  • Evolutionary Genetics and Cultural Traits in a 'Body of Theory' Perspective.Emanuele Serrelli - 2016 - In Fabrizio Panebianco & Emanuele Serrelli (eds.), Understanding cultural traits. A multidisciplinary perspective on cultural diversity. Springer. pp. 179-199.
    The chapter explains why evolutionary genetics – a mathematical body of theory developed since the 1910s – eventually got to deal with culture: the frequency dynamics of genes like “the lactase gene” in populations cannot be correctly modeled without including social transmission. While the body of theory requires specific justifications, for example meticulous legitimations of describing culture in terms of traits, the body of theory is an immensely valuable scientific instrument, not only for its modeling power but also for the (...)
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  • Why Experiments Matter.Adrian Currie & Arnon Levy - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-25.
    Traditionally, experimentation is considered a privileged means of confirmation. However, how experiments are a better confirmatory source than other strategies is unclear, and recent discussions have identified experiments with various modeling strategies on the one hand, and with ‘natural’ experiments on the other hand. We argue that experiments aiming to test theories are best understood as controlled investigations of specimens. ‘Control’ involves repeated, fine-grained causal manipulation of focal properties. This capacity generates rich knowledge of the object investigated. ‘Specimenhood’ involves possessing (...)
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  • Melinda Fagan Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology: Knowledge in Flesh and Blood.Adrian Currie - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):651-655.
  • The ‘Big Picture’: The Problem of Extrapolation in Basic Research.Tudor M. Baetu - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):941-964.
    Both clinical research and basic science rely on the epistemic practice of extrapolation from surrogate models, to the point that explanatory accounts presented in review papers and biology textbooks are in fact composite pictures reconstituted from data gathered in a variety of distinct experimental setups. This raises two new challenges to previously proposed mechanistic-similarity solutions to the problem of extrapolation: one pertaining to the absence of mechanistic knowledge in the early stages of research and the second to the large number (...)
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  • Model Organisms Are Not Models.Arnon Levy & Adrian Currie - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):327-348.
    Many biological investigations are organized around a small group of species, often referred to as ‘model organisms’, such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The terms ‘model’ and ‘modelling’ also occur in biology in association with mathematical and mechanistic theorizing, as in the Lotka–Volterra model of predator-prey dynamics. What is the relation between theoretical models and model organisms? Are these models in the same sense? We offer an account on which the two practices are shown to have different epistemic characters. (...)
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  • Are Model Organisms Theoretical Models?Veli-Pekka Parkkinen - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (47):471-498.
    This article compares the epistemic roles of theoretical models and model organisms in science, and specifically the role of non-human animal models in biomedicine. Much of the previous literature on this topic shares an assumption that animal models and theoretical models have a broadly similar epistemic role—that of indirect representation of a target through the study of a surrogate system. Recently, Levy and Currie have argued that model organism research and theoretical modelling differ in the justification of model-to-target inferences, such (...)
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  • Detecting Themes and Variations: The Use of Cases in Developmental Biology.Rachel A. Ankeny - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):644-654.
  • Validating Animal Models.Nina A. Atanasova - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (2):163.
    This paper responds to a recent challenge for the validity of extrapolation of neurobiological knowledge from laboratory animals to humans. According to this challenge, experimental neurobiology, and thus neuroscience, is in a state of crisis because the knowledge produced in different laboratories hardly generalizes from one laboratory to another. Presumably, this is so because neurobiological laboratories use simplified animal models of human conditions that differ across laboratories. By contrast, I argue that maintaining a multiplicity of experimental protocols and simple models (...)
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  • How Models Represent.James Nguyen - 2016 - Dissertation,
    Scientific models are important, if not the sole, units of science. This thesis addresses the following question: in virtue of what do scientific models represent their target systems? In Part i I motivate the question, and lay out some important desiderata that any successful answer must meet. This provides a novel conceptual framework in which to think about the question of scientific representation. I then argue against Callender and Cohen’s attempt to diffuse the question. In Part ii I investigate the (...)
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  • Models and the Mosaic of Scientific Knowledge. The Case of Immunology.Tudor M. Baetu - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 45 (1):49-56.
    A survey of models in immunology is conducted and distinct kinds of models are characterized based on whether models are material or conceptual, the distinctiveness of their epistemic purpose, and the criteria for evaluating the goodness of a model relative to its intended purpose. I argue that the diversity of models in interdisciplinary fields such as immunology reflects the fact that information about the phenomena of interest is gathered from different sources using multiple methods of investigation. To each model is (...)
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  • When One Model is Not Enough: Combining Epistemic Tools in Systems Biology.Sara Green - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):170-180.
    In recent years, the philosophical focus of the modeling literature has shifted from descriptions of general properties of models to an interest in different model functions. It has been argued that the diversity of models and their correspondingly different epistemic goals are important for developing intelligible scientific theories. However, more knowledge is needed on how a combination of different epistemic means can generate and stabilize new entities in science. This paper will draw on Rheinberger’s practice-oriented account of knowledge production. The (...)
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  • The Diversity of Experimental Organisms in Biomedical Research May Be Influenced by Biomedical Funding.B. R. Erick Peirson, Heather Kropp, Julia Damerow & Manfred D. Laubichler - 2017 - Bioessays 39 (5):1600258.
    Contrary to concerns of some critics, we present evidence that biomedical research is not dominated by a small handful of model organisms. An exhaustive analysis of research literature suggests that the diversity of experimental organisms in biomedical research has increased substantially since 1975. There has been a longstanding worry that organism‐centric funding policies can lead to biases in experimental organism choice, and thus negatively impact the direction of research and the interpretation of results. Critics have argued that a focus on (...)
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  • From Replica to Instruments: Animal Models in Biomedical Research.Pierre-Luc Germain - 2014 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (1):114-128.
    The ways in which other animal species can be informative about human biology are not exhausted by the traditional picture of the animal model. In this paper, I propose to distinguish two roles which laboratory organisms can have in biomedical research. In the more traditional case, organisms act as surrogates for human beings, and as such are expected to be more manageable replicas of humans. However, animal models can inform us about human biology in a much less straightforward way, by (...)
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  • The Resisted Rise of Randomisation in Experimental Design: British Agricultural Science, C.1910–1930.Dominic Berry - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (3):242-260.
    The most conspicuous form of agricultural experiment is the field trial, and within the history of such trials, the arrival of the randomised control trial is considered revolutionary. Originating with R.A. Fisher within British agricultural science in the 1920s and 30s, the RCT has since become one of the most prodigiously used experimental techniques throughout the natural and social sciences. Philosophers of science have already scrutinised the epistemological uniqueness of RCTs, undermining their status as the ‘gold standard’ in experimental design. (...)
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  • Abstraction as an Autonomous Process in Scientific Modeling.Sim-Hui Tee - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-13.
    ion is one of the important processes in scientific modeling. It has always been implied that abstraction is an agent-centric activity that involves the cognitive processes of scientists in model building. I contend that there is an autonomous aspect of abstraction in many modeling activities. I argue that the autonomous process of abstraction is continuous with the agent-centric abstraction but capable of evolving independently from the modeler’s abstraction activity.
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  • The Mind, the Lab, and the Field: Three Kinds of Populations in Scientific Practice.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Ryan Giordano, Michael D. Edge & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:12-21.
    Scientists use models to understand the natural world, and it is important not to conflate model and nature. As an illustration, we distinguish three different kinds of populations in studies of ecology and evolution: theoretical, laboratory, and natural populations, exemplified by the work of R.A. Fisher, Thomas Park, and David Lack, respectively. Biologists are rightly concerned with all three types of populations. We examine the interplay between these different kinds of populations, and their pertinent models, in three examples: the notion (...)
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  • Repertoires: A Post-Kuhnian Perspective on Scientific Change and Collaborative Research.Rachel A. Ankeny & Sabina Leonelli - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 60:18-28.
  • ‘Extreme’ Organisms and the Problem of Generalization: Interpreting the Krogh Principle.Sara Green, Michael R. Dietrich, Sabina Leonelli & Rachel A. Ankeny - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (4):65.
    Many biologists appeal to the so-called Krogh principle when justifying their choice of experimental organisms. The principle states that “for a large number of problems there will be some animal of choice, or a few such animals, on which it can be most conveniently studied”. Despite its popularity, the principle is often critiqued for implying unwarranted generalizations from optimal models. We argue that the Krogh principle should be interpreted in relation to the historical and scientific contexts in which it has (...)
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  • Explanation in Science.A. Overton James - unknown
    Scientific explanation is an important goal of scientific practise. Philosophers have proposed a striking diversity of seemingly incompatible accounts of explanation, from deductive-nomological to statistical relevance, unification, pragmatic, causal-mechanical, mechanistic, causal intervention, asymptotic, and model-based accounts. In this dissertation I apply two novel methods to reexamine our evidence about scientific explanation in practise and thereby address the fragmentation of philosophical accounts. I start by collecting a data set of 781 articles from one year of the journal Science. Using automated text (...)
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  • Of Barrels and Pipes: Representation - as in Art and Science.Frigg Roman & Nguyen James - 2017 - In Otávio Bueno, George Darby, Steven French & Dean Rickles (eds.), Thinking about Science and Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Science Together. London and New York: pp. 41-61.
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  • How Biological Technology Should Inform the Causal Selection Debate.Janella Baxter - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11.
    Waters’s (2007) actual difference making and Weber’s (2013, 2017) biological normality approaches to causal selection have received many criticisms, some of which miss their target. Disagreement about whether Waters’s and Weber’s views succeed in providing criteria that uniquely singles out the gene as explanatorily significant in biology has led philosophers to overlook a prior problem. Before one can address whether Waters’s and Weber’s views successfully account for the explanatory significance of genes, one must ask whether either view satisfactorily meets the (...)
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  • Generative Models: Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Multiple Modeling Relations.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:122-134.
  • Animal Models in Translational Research: Rosetta Stone or Stumbling Block?Jessica A. Bolker - 2017 - Bioessays 39 (12):1700089.
    Leading animal models are powerful tools for translational research, but they also present obstacles. Poorly conducted preclinical research in animals is a common cause of translational failure, but even when such research is well-designed and carefully executed, challenges remain. In particular, dominant models may bias research directions, elide essential aspects of human disease, omit important context, or subtly shift research targets. Recognizing these stumbling blocks can help us find ways to avoid them: employing a wider range of models, incorporating more (...)
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  • Companion Animals as Technologies in Biomedical Research.Ashley Shew & Keith Johnson - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (3):400-417.
    When article co-author Ashley Shew announced to our colleagues in the College of Veterinary Medicine that she had osteosarcoma a few years ago, the reaction was shock. Of course, people get cancer. But we've been embedded with folks from engineering, business, and veterinary medicine at our university, working as part of an Interdisciplinary Graduate Education on Regenerative Medicine, and people in veterinary medicine are very familiar with osteosarcoma as a canine disease—one that is much rarer in humans. Osteosarcoma kills many (...)
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  • A Credible-World Account of Biological Models.Sim-Hui Tee - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (3):309-324.
    In a broad brush, biological models are often constructed in two general types: as a concrete model; as an abstract model. A concrete model is a material model such as model organisms, while an abstract model is a mathematical or computational model consists of equations or algorithms. Though there are types of biological models that cannot be strictly categorized as either concrete or abstract, they are falling somewhere in between this spectrum. In view of the fact that biological phenomena are (...)
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  • The Organism Strikes Back: Chlorella Algae and Their Impact on Photosynthesis Research, 1920s–1960s.Kärin Nickelsen - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (2).
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  • The diving reflex and asphyxia: working across species in physiological ecology.Joel B. Hagen - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (1):18.
    Beginning in the mid-1930s the comparative physiologists Laurence Irving and Per Fredrik Scholander pioneered the study of diving mammals, particularly harbor seals. Although resting on earlier work dating back to the late nineteenth century, their research was distinctive in several ways. In contrast to medically oriented physiology, the approaches of Irving and Scholander were strongly influenced by natural history, zoology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Diving mammals, they argued, shared the cardiopulmonary physiology of terrestrial mammals, but evolution had modified these basic (...)
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  • Patterns of Infection and Patterns of Evolution: How a Malaria Parasite Brought “Monkeys and Man” Closer Together in the 1960s.Rachel Mason Dentinger - 2016 - Journal of the History of Biology 49 (2):359-395.
    In 1960, American parasitologist Don Eyles was unexpectedly infected with a malariaparasite isolated from a macaque. He and his supervisor, G. Robert Coatney of the National Institutes of Health, had started this series of experiments with the assumption that humans were not susceptible to “monkey malaria.” The revelation that a mosquito carrying a macaque parasite could infect a human raised a whole range of public health and biological questions. This paper follows Coatney’s team of parasitologists and their subjects: from the (...)
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  • Introduction to “Working Across Species”.Rachel Mason Dentinger & Abigail Woods - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (2):30.
    Comparison between different animal species is omnipresent in the history of science and medicine but rarely subject to focussed historical analysis. The articles in the “Working Across Species” topical collection address this deficit by looking directly at the practical and epistemic work of cross-species comparison. Drawn from papers presented at a Wellcome-Trust-funded workshop in 2016, these papers investigate various ways that comparison has been made persuasive and successful, in multiple locations, by diverse disciplines, over the course of two centuries. They (...)
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  • The Normativity of Nature. Essays on Kant'sCritique of Judgement.Michela Massimi - 2015 - Intellectual History Review 25 (4):464-467.
  • Rats, Stress and the Built Environment.Edmund Ramsden - 2012 - History of the Human Sciences 25 (5):123-147.
    From 1942 to 1952, a programme took place at Johns Hopkins to devise new methods of controlling Baltimore’s rat population. This article focuses on three individuals closely connected to this project at various stages of its development: psycho-biologist Curt Richter, animal ecologist David E. Davis, and ecologist and psychologist John B. Calhoun. For all three, the challenges of controlling rat numbers highlighted the significance of stress – a homeostatic mechanism critical to the survival of the animal. This was a process (...)
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  • Translational neonatology research: transformative encounters across species and disciplines.Mie S. Dam, Per T. Sangild & Mette N. Svendsen - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (1):21.
    This paper explores the laborious and intimate work of turning bodies of research animals into models of human patients. Based on ethnographic research in the interdisciplinary Danish research centre NEOMUNE, we investigate collaboration across species and disciplines, in research aiming at improving survival for preterm infants. NEOMUNE experimental studies on piglets evolved as a platform on which both basic and clinical scientists exercised professional authority. Guided by the field of multi-species research, we explore the social and material agency of research (...)
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  • Synthetic Biology Between Technoscience and Thing Knowledge.Axel Gelfert - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):141-149.
    Synthetic biology presents a challenge to traditional accounts of biology: Whereas traditional biology emphasizes the evolvability, variability, and heterogeneity of living organisms, synthetic biology envisions a future of homogeneous, humanly engineered biological systems that may be combined in modular fashion. The present paper approaches this challenge from the perspective of the epistemology of technoscience. In particular, it is argued that synthetic-biological artifacts lend themselves to an analysis in terms of what has been called ‘thing knowledge’. As such, they should neither (...)
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  • Making Microbes Matter: Essay Review of Maureen A. O’Malley’s Philosophy of Microbiology.Gregory J. Morgan, James Romph, Joshua L. Ross, Elizabeth Steward & Claire Szipszky - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):12.
    In a pioneering book, Philosophy of Microbiology, Maureen O’Malley argues for the philosophical importance of microbes through an examination of their impact on ecosystems, evolution, biological classification, collaborative behavior, and multicellular organisms. She identifies many understudied conceptual issues in the study of microbes. If philosophers follow her lead, the philosophy of biology will be expanded and enriched.
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  • Re-Thinking Organisms: The Impact of Databases on Model Organism Biology.Sabina Leonelli & Rachel A. Ankeny - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):29-36.
    Community databases have become crucial to the collection, ordering and retrieval of data gathered on model organisms, as well as to the ways in which these data are interpreted and used across a range of research contexts. This paper analyses the impact of community databases on research practices in model organism biology by focusing on the history and current use of four community databases: FlyBase, Mouse Genome Informatics, WormBase and The Arabidopsis Information Resource. We discuss the standards used by the (...)
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  • Stages in the Development of a Model Organism as a Platform for Mechanistic Models in Developmental Biology: Zebrafish, 1970–2000.Robert Meunier - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (2):522-531.
    Model organisms became an indispensable part of experimental systems in molecular developmental and cell biology, constructed to investigate physiological and pathological processes. They are thought to play a crucial role for the elucidation of gene function, complementing the sequencing of the genomes of humans and other organisms. Accordingly, historians and philosophers paid considerable attention to various issues concerning this aspect of experimental biology. With respect to the representational features of model organisms, that is, their status as models, the main focus (...)
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  • Integrating Data to Acquire New Knowledge: Three Modes of Integration in Plant Science.Sabina Leonelli - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):503-514.
    This paper discusses what it means and what it takes to integrate data in order to acquire new knowledge about biological entities and processes. Maureen O’Malley and Orkun Soyer have pointed to the scientific work involved in data integration as important and distinct from the work required by other forms of integration, such as methodological and explanatory integration, which have been more successful in captivating the attention of philosophers of science. Here I explore what data integration involves in more detail (...)
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  • Normal Development and Experimental Embryology: Edmund Beecher Wilson and Amphioxus.James W. E. Lowe - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:44-59.
  • Microbes Modeling Ontogeny.Alan C. Love & Michael Travisano - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):161-188.
    Model organisms are central to contemporary biology and studies of embryogenesis in particular. Biologists utilize only a small number of species to experimentally elucidate the phenomena and mechanisms of development. Critics have questioned whether these experimental models are good representatives of their targets because of the inherent biases involved in their selection (e.g., rapid development and short generation time). A standard response is that the manipulative molecular techniques available for experimental analysis mitigate, if not counterbalance, this concern. But the most (...)
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