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An Outline of Informational GeneticsIntroduction

An Outline of Informational Genetics: Introduction CHAP TER 1 If you want to understand life, don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker 1.1 GENETICS AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING Although at first sight they may look unrelated, genetics and communication technology are both concerned with transfer of information. Besides the obvious fact that the latter is a matter of human engineering while the former is concerned with natural processes, they mainly differ in not operating in the same dimension: the latter is intended to communicate messages in space, from one place to another, while the former communicates hereditary messages in time, from one instant to another. The outstanding success of communication technology relies of course on tremendous pro- gresses in physical hardware but also, much less visibly, on the development of very powerful con- ceptual tools, consistently gathered in information theory [72]. Although these tools were originally intended for communication through space, they are comprehensive enough to apply as well to communication through time. The central question to which this lecture proposes an answer is: Can the theoretical framework elaborated by human engineers shed light on the natural processes of hereditary communication? The answer is yes, beyond http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2008
ISBN
978-3-031-00501-5
Pages
3 –8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-031-01629-5_1
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

CHAP TER 1 If you want to understand life, don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker 1.1 GENETICS AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING Although at first sight they may look unrelated, genetics and communication technology are both concerned with transfer of information. Besides the obvious fact that the latter is a matter of human engineering while the former is concerned with natural processes, they mainly differ in not operating in the same dimension: the latter is intended to communicate messages in space, from one place to another, while the former communicates hereditary messages in time, from one instant to another. The outstanding success of communication technology relies of course on tremendous pro- gresses in physical hardware but also, much less visibly, on the development of very powerful con- ceptual tools, consistently gathered in information theory [72]. Although these tools were originally intended for communication through space, they are comprehensive enough to apply as well to communication through time. The central question to which this lecture proposes an answer is: Can the theoretical framework elaborated by human engineers shed light on the natural processes of hereditary communication? The answer is yes, beyond

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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