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Ingenious Genes

How Gene Regulation Networks Evolve to Control Development

Roger Sansom

Publication Year: 2011

A proposal for a new model of the evolution of gene regulation networks and development that draws on work from artificial intelligence and philosophy of mind.

Published by: The MIT Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

You are a collection of more than 10 trillion (10 13 ) cells, busy performing many tasks on which your continued existence depends. That is impressive enough, but consider too your history. You began as a single cell that...


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pp. xi-xii

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Chapter 1. The Problem of the Evolvability of Gene Regulation Networks

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pp. 1-22

Organisms are superbly well engineered to survive and reproduce in their environments. We humans have achieved a wide variety of engineering feats, from computers to space stations, and we have learned to manipulate...

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Chapter 2. Are Gene Regulation Networks Evolvable?

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pp. 23-36

“ Exactly how does an egg produce legs, head, eyes, intestine, and get up and start running about? ” With this question, Conrad Waddington (1966, p. iv) expresses wonder at both any system that is capable of overcoming...

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Chapter 3. Kauffman’s Framework for Gene Regulation

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pp. 37-68

Stuart Kauffman's more comprehensive model of gene regulation is the result of more than thirty years of research. His two books on the subject, The Origins of Order (1993) and At Home in the Universe (1995), represent...

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Chapter 4. The Connectionist Framework for Gene Regulation

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pp. 69-96

At any instance, each cell is faced with a microenvironment and either expresses or does not express each of the organism ’ s genes. Given that microenvironment, each gene expression and each gene non-expression is...

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Chapter 5. Why Gene Regulation Networks Are the Controllers of Development

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pp. 97-112

Consider a scene that took place on the banks of the Hydaspes River in the Punjab region of India in 326 BC. Nearly 50,000 infantry, more than 10,000 cavalry, and 200 elephants were involved in intense activity that...


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pp. 113-114


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pp. 115-126


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pp. 127-128

E-ISBN-13: 9780262298209
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262195812

Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology