Genome Informatics: The Role of DNA in Cellular Computations

Biological Theory 1 (3):288-301 (2006)
Authors
James Shapiro
University of Chicago
Abstract
Cells are cognitive entities possessing great computational power. DNA serves as a multivalent information storage medium for these computations at various time scales. Information is stored in sequences, epigenetic modifications, and rapidly changing nucleoprotein complexes. Because DNA must operate through complexes formed with other molecules in the cell, genome functions are inherently interactive and involve two-way communication with various cellular compartments. Both coding sequences and repetitive sequences contribute to the hierarchical systemic organization of the genome. By virtue of nucleoprotein complexes, epigenetic modifications, and natural genetic engineering activities, the genome can serve as a read-write storage system. An interactive informatic conceptualization of the genome allows us to understand the functional importance of DNA that does not code for protein or RNA structure, clarifies the essential multidirectional and systemic nature of genomic information transfer, and emphasizes the need to investigate how cellular computation operates in reproduction and evolution
Keywords Genome restructuring  Cell cognition  Cell information processing
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ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1162/biot.2006.1.3.288
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1971 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):287-297.
Computing Machinery and Intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.

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