Added by Jill Gengler, last edited by Daniel Wright on Oct 20, 2009  (view change)


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The Information in Biology & Evolution seminar is meeting Wednesdays at noon in room 3140 at the IGB. This seminar group is interested in the role information plays in evolution and in organisms generally, with a focus on how organisms use information to interact with their environments and for adaptation. This can span a wide range of biological scales, from molecular and cellular information to human language, but we'll focus on the molecular-to-multi-cellular levels, and on the origins of information in biosystems. Past topics discussed include evolution of the genetic code, cell signaling, and early evolution of information coding molecules.

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July 15

Day, Laland, and Odling-Smee "Rethinking adaptation: the niche construction perspective." (Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46:1, 2003). PDF

July 22

Laland, Odling-Smee, and Gilbert "EvoDevo and niche construction: Building bridges." (Journal of Experimental Zoology B, 310:7). PDF

July 29

Szathmary, E. & Maynard-Smith, J. "The major evolutionary transitions." (Nature, 1995, 374, 227-232). PDF

This article focuses on the critical role of information in the "major transitions" of biological evolution, and in the evolution of biocomplexity.

August 12

Maynard-Smith, J. "The concept of information in biology." (Philosophy of Science, 2000, 67, 177). PDF

August 19

Jablonka, E. & Lamb, M.J. "The evolution of information in the major transitions." (Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2006, 239, 236-246). PDF

August 26

Nanney, D.L. "Cortical patterns in cellular morphogenesis." (Science, 1968, 160, 496-502). PDF

September 2

Smith, E. "Thermodynamics of natural selection I: Energy flow and the limits on organization." (Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2008, 252, 185-197). PDF

September 16

Istrail, S., De-Leon, S.B., & Davidson, E. "The regulatory genome and the computer." (Developmental Biology, 2007, 310, 187-195). PDF

September 23

Huang, S. "Reprogramming cell fates: reconciling rarity with robustness." (BioEssays, 2009, 31, 546-560). PDF

October 7

Landweber, L.F., Kuo, T., & Curtis, E.A. "Evolution and assembly of an extremely scrambled gene." (PNAS, 2000, 97:7, 3298-3303). PDF

October 14

Fontana, W. (1996) "On Organization." (The future of science has begun: Approaches to Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence, Fondazione Carlo Erba, volume 4, 23-40). PDF
Gornerup, O. and Crutchfield, J.P. (2008) "Hierarchical Self-Organization in the Finitary Process Soup." (Artificial Life, 14:245-254). PDF

October 28

Eigen, M. (2000) "Natural selection: a phase transition?" (Biophysical Chemistry, 2000, 85, 101-123). PDF

Please contact Dan Wright ( with questions or
for more information, or to suggest future papers for discussion.