Genetic Analysis

Author: Raphael Falk
Editor: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521884187
Size: 18,50 MB
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There is a paradox lying at the heart of the study of heredity. To understand the ways in which features are passed on down from one generation to the next, we have to dig deeper and deeper into the ultimate nature of things - from organisms, to genes, to molecules. And yet as we do this, increasingly we find we are out of focus with our subjects. What has any of this to do with the living, breathing organisms with which we started? Organisms are living. Molecules are not. How do we relate one to the other? In Genetic Analysis, one of the most important empirical scientists in the field in the twentieth century attempts, through a study of history and drawing on his own vast experience as a practitioner, to face this paradox head-on. His book offers a deep and innovative understanding of our ways of thinking about heredity.

Genetics And Philosophy

Author: Paul Griffiths
Editor: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107354765
Size: 14,93 MB
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In the past century, nearly all of the biological sciences have been directly affected by discoveries and developments in genetics, a fast-evolving subject with important theoretical dimensions. In this rich and accessible book, Paul Griffiths and Karola Stotz show how the concept of the gene has evolved and diversified across the many fields that make up modern biology. By examining the molecular biology of the 'environment', they situate genetics in the developmental biology of whole organisms, and reveal how the molecular biosciences have undermined the nature/nurture distinction. Their discussion gives full weight to the revolutionary impacts of molecular biology, while rejecting 'genocentrism' and 'reductionism', and brings the topic right up to date with the philosophical implications of the most recent developments in genetics. Their book will be invaluable for those studying the philosophy of biology, genetics and other life sciences.

The Gene

Author: Hans-Jörg Rheinberger
Editor: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022647478X
Size: 18,57 MB
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Few concepts played a more important role in twentieth-century life sciences than that of the gene. Yet at this moment, the field of genetics is undergoing radical conceptual transformation, and some scientists are questioning the very usefulness of the concept of the gene, arguing instead for more systemic perspectives. The time could not be better, therefore, for Hans-Jörg Rheinberger and Staffan Müller-Wille's magisterial history of the concept of the gene. Though the gene has long been the central organizing theme of biology, both conceptually and as an object of study, Rheinberger and Müller-Wille conclude that we have never even had a universally accepted, stable definition of it. Rather, the concept has been in continual flux—a state that, they contend, is typical of historically important and productive scientific concepts. It is that very openness to change and manipulation, the authors argue, that made it so useful: its very mutability enabled it to be useful while the technologies and approaches used to study and theorize about it changed dramatically.

Zionism And The Biology Of Jews

Author: Raphael Falk
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 3319573454
Size: 14,15 MB
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This book offers a unique perspective on Zionism. The author, a geneticist by training, focuses on science, rather than history. He looks at the claims that Jews constitute a people with common biological roots. An argument that helps provide justification for the aspirations of this political movement dedicated to the return of the Jewish people to their homeland. His study explores two issues. The first considers the assertion that there is a biology of the Jews. The second deals with attempts to integrate this idea into a consistent history. Both issues unfolded against the background of a romantic national culture of Western Europe in the 19th century: Jews, primarily from Eastern Europe, began to believe these notions and soon they took the lead in the re-formulation of Jewish and Zionist existence. The author does not intend to present a comprehensive picture of the biological literature of the origins of a people and the blood relations between them. He also recognizes that the subject is emotionally-loaded. The book does, however, present a profound mediation on three overlapping questions: What is special or unique to the Jews? Who were the genuine Jews? And how can one identify Jews? This volume is a revised and edited English version of Tzionut Vehabiologia shel Hayehudim, published in 2006.

Thinking About Evolution

Author: Rama S. Singh
Editor: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521620703
Size: 12,74 MB
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Originally published in 2001, this is the second of two volumes published by Cambridge University Press in honour of Richard Lewontin. This second volume of essays honours the philosophical, historical and political dimensions of his work. It is fitting that the volume covers such a wide range of perspectives on modern biology, given the range of Lewontin's own contributions. He is not just a very successful practitioner of evolutionary genetics, but a rigorous critic of the practices of genetics and evolutionary biology and an articulate analyst of the social, political and economic contexts and consequences of genetic and evolutionary research. The volume begins with an essay by Lewontin on Natural History and Formalism in Evolutionary Genetics, and includes contributions by former students, post-docs, colleagues and collaborators, which cover issues ranging from the history and conceptual foundations of evolutionary biology and genetics, to the implications of human genetic diversity.

Instrumentation Between Science State And Industry

Author: B. Joerges
Editor: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401090327
Size: 10,59 MB
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these. In this book, we appropriate their conception of research-technology, and ex tend it to many other phenomena which are less stable and less localized in time and space than the Zeeman/Cotton situation. In the following pages, we use the concept for instances where research activities are orientated primarily toward technologies which facilitate both the production of scientific knowledge and the production of other goods. In particular, we use the tenn for instances where instruments and meth ods· traverse numerous geographic and institutional boundaries; that is, fields dis tinctly different and distant from the instruments' and methods' initial focus. We suggest that instruments such as the ultra-centrifuge, and the trajectories of the men who devise such artefacts, diverge in an interesting way from other fonns of artefacts and careers in science, metrology and engineering with which students of science and technology are more familiar. The instrument systems developed by re search-technologists strike us as especially general, open-ended, and flexible. When tailored effectively, research-technology instruments potentially fit into many niches and serve a host of unrelated applications. Their multi-functional character distin guishes them from many other devices which are designed to address specific, nar rowly defined problems in a circumscribed arena in and outside of science. Research technology activities link universities, industry, public and private research or me trology establishments, instrument-making finns, consulting companies, the military, and metrological agencies. Research-technology practitioners do not follow the career path of the traditional academic or engineering professional.

Qu Bec Studies In The Philosophy Of Science

Author: Mathieu Marion
Editor: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400901135
Size: 11,64 MB
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By North-American standards, philosophy is not new in Quebec: the first men tion of philosophy lectures given by a Jesuit in the College de Quebec (founded 1635) dates from 1665, and the oldest logic manuscript dates from 1679. In English-speaking universities such as McGill (founded 1829), philosophy began to be taught later, during the second half of the 19th century. The major influence on English-speaking philosophers was, at least initially, that of Scottish Empiricism. On the other hand, the strong influence of the Catholic Church on French-Canadian society meant that the staff of the facultes of the French-speaking universities consisted, until recently, almost entirely of Thomist philosophers. There was accordingly little or no work in modern Formal Logic and Philosophy of Science and precious few contacts between the philosophical communities. In the late forties, Hugues Leblanc was a young student wanting to learn Formal Logic. He could not find anyone in Quebec to teach him and he went to study at Harvard University under the supervision of W. V. Quine. His best friend Maurice L' Abbe had left, a year earlier, for Princeton to study with Alonzo Church. After receiving his Ph. D from Harvard in 1948, Leblanc started his profes sional career at Bryn Mawr College, where he stayed until 1967. He then went to Temple University, where he taught until his retirement in 1992, serving as Chair of the Department of Philosophy from 1973 until 1979.

Towards A Theory Of Development

Author: Alessandro Minelli
Editor: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651184
Size: 15,41 MB
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Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.

Philosophy Of Biology

Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith
Editor: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691174679
Size: 20,75 MB
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This is a concise, comprehensive, and accessible introduction to the philosophy of biology written by a leading authority on the subject. Geared to philosophers, biologists, and students of both, the book provides sophisticated and innovative coverage of the central topics and many of the latest developments in the field. Emphasizing connections between biological theories and other areas of philosophy, and carefully explaining both philosophical and biological terms, Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses the relation between philosophy and science; examines the role of laws, mechanistic explanation, and idealized models in biological theories; describes evolution by natural selection; and assesses attempts to extend Darwin's mechanism to explain changes in ideas, culture, and other phenomena. Further topics include functions and teleology, individuality and organisms, species, the tree of life, and human nature. The book closes with detailed, cutting-edge treatments of the evolution of cooperation, of information in biology, and of the role of communication in living systems at all scales. Authoritative and up-to-date, this is an essential guide for anyone interested in the important philosophical issues raised by the biological sciences.

Biology Computing And The History Of Molecular Sequencing

Author: M. García-Sancho
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 0230370934
Size: 15,32 MB
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Sequencing is often associated with the Human Genome Project and celebrated achievements concerning the DNA molecule. However, the history of this practice comprises not only academic biology, but also the world of computer-assisted information management. The book uncovers this history, qualifying the hype and expectations around genomics.