Re: [asa] Molecular Biology and Design

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Thu Jan 01 2009 - 13:58:50 EST

Over at Telic Thoughts, there is a new contributor who uses the handle Techne. Techne has posted a nice review of a new paper by Antoine Danchin from the Pasteur Institut entitled, “Bacteria as computers making computers.”


While I have yet to read the paper, it appears Danchin’s paper further supports my contention that molecular biology is permeated with engineering concepts. Techne quotes the following excerpt:


“Historically, systems biology follows on from molecular biology, a science based on many concepts more closely linked to arithmetic and computation than to classical physics or chemistry. Molecular biology relies heavily on concepts such as ‘control’, ‘coding’ or ‘information’, which are at the heart of arithmetic and computation. To accept the cell as a computer conjecture first requires an exploration of the concept of information, in relation to the concept of genetic program.”


After raising many interesting points, Techne concludes:


“The article continues to discuss at length the parallels between our own created information processing systems (computers) and molecular processes fundamental to life. With more and more information being gathered on cellular mechanisms, cells can be seen as computers (machines expressing various programs), that are not only able to govern cellular processes needed to sustain the software, but also contains the necessary software and machinery to reproduce the computing machine while replicating its program. The article is sure to provide information for many more interesting blog discussions.”


- Mike

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Received on Thu Jan 1 13:59:23 2009

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