The Shape of Life

Author: Rudolf A. Raff
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022625657X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Rudolf Raff is recognized as a pioneer in evolutionary developmental biology. In their 1983 book, Embryos, Genes, and Evolution, Raff and co-author Thomas Kaufman proposed a synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology. In The Shape of Life, Raff analyzes the rise of this new experimental discipline and lays out new research questions, hypotheses, and approaches to guide its development. Raff uses the evolution of animal body plans to exemplify the interplay between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary patterns. Animal body plans emerged half a billion years ago. Evolution within these body plans during this span of time has resulted in the tremendous diversity of living animal forms. Raff argues for an integrated approach to the study of the intertwined roles of development and evolution involving phylogenetic, comparative, and functional biology. This new synthesis will interest not only scientists working in these areas, but also paleontologists, zoologists, morphologists, molecular biologists, and geneticists.

The Shape of Thought

Author: H. Clark Barrett
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199348316
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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'The Shape of Thought' presents a road map for an evolutionary psychology of the twenty-first century. It shows how the brain can be both a complexly specialized organ and a dynamic and flexible self-organizing system, shaped by learning and culture.

The Epistemology of Development Evolution and Genetics

Author: Richard Burian
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521545280
Format: PDF, Kindle
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These essays examine the developments in three fundamental biological disciplines--embryology, evolutionary biology, and genetics. These disciplines were in conflict for much of the 20th century and the essays in this collection examine key methodological problems within these disciplines and the difficulties faced in overcoming the conflicts between them. Burian skillfully weaves together historical appreciation of the settings within which scientists work, substantial knowledge of the biological problems at stake and the methodological and philosophical issues faced in integrating biological knowledge drawn from disparate sources.

Cells Embryos and Evolution

Author: Jon Gerhart
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This long awaited core textbook in the study of evolution takes a similar approach to the subject as Roger Lewin's classic text, Human Evolution, but goes a step further. The many important discoveries and new evidence that have emerged since the last edition make this book a timely and necessary addition to any introductory evolution course."

Molecular Biology of the Cell

Author: Bruce Alberts
Publisher: Garland Science
ISBN: 1317563743
Format: PDF, Docs
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As the amount of information in biology expands dramatically, it becomes increasingly important for textbooks to distill the vast amount of scientific knowledge into concise principles and enduring concepts.As with previous editions, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Sixth Edition accomplishes this goal with clear writing and beautiful illustrations. The Sixth Edition has been extensively revised and updated with the latest research in the field of cell biology, and it provides an exceptional framework for teaching and learning. The entire illustration program has been greatly enhanced.Protein structures better illustrate structure–function relationships, icons are simpler and more consistent within and between chapters, and micrographs have been refreshed and updated with newer, clearer, or better images. As a new feature, each chapter now contains intriguing openended questions highlighting “What We Don’t Know,” introducing students to challenging areas of future research. Updated end-of-chapter problems reflect new research discussed in the text, and these problems have been expanded to all chapters by adding questions on developmental biology, tissues and stem cells, pathogens, and the immune system.

Towards a Theory of Development

Author: Alessandro Minelli
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651184
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Functions selection and mechanisms

Author: Philippe Huneman
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400753047
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’ papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ‘etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’ ‘systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ‘etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its counterpart became ever more sophisticated, as researchers discovered fresh applications for it. Relying on a firm knowledge of the original positions and debates, this volume presents cutting-edge research evincing the complexities that today pertain in function theory in various sciences. Alongside original papers from authors central to the controversy, work by emerging researchers taking novel perspectives will add to the potential avenues to be followed in the future. Not only does the book adopt no a priori assumptions about the scope of functional explanations, it also incorporates material from several very different scientific domains, e.g. neurosciences, ecology, or technology. In general, functions are implemented in mechanisms; and functional explanations in biology have often an essential relation with natural selection. These two basic claims set the stage for this book’s coverage of investigations concerning both ‘functional’ explanations, and the ‘metaphysics’ of functions. It casts new light on these claims, by testing them through their confrontation with scientific developments in biology, psychology, and recent developments concerning the metaphysics of realization. Rather than debating a single theory of functions, this book presents the richness of philosophical issues raised by functional discourse throughout the various sciences.​

Forms of Becoming

Author: Alessandro Minelli
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691135687
Format: PDF, ePub
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What comes first, form or function? Evolutionary developmental biology (or "evo-devo") answers this fundamental question by showing how evolution controls the development of organisms. Alessandro Minelli takes an in-depth and comprehensive look at the history and key issues of evo-devo, focusing on the innovative ways animal organisms evolve through competition and cooperation. Minelli provides a complete overview of conceptual developments--from the fierce nineteenth-century debates between the French biologists Geoffroy and Cuvier, who fought over questions of form versus function--to modern theories of how genes dictate body formation. The book's wide-ranging topics include expression patterns of genes, developmental bias, the role of developmental genes, and genetic determinism. Drawing from diverse examples, such as the anatomy of butterflies, giraffes, Siamese twins, and corals, Minelli extends and reformulates important concepts from development, evolution, and the interplay between the two.