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  1. Dependence Relationships Between Gene Ontology Terms Based on TIGR Gene Product Annotations.Anand Kumar, Barry Smith & Christian Borgelt - 2004 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Computational Terminology 2004:31-38.
    The Gene Ontology is an important tool for the representation and processing of information about gene products and functions. It provides controlled vocabularies for the designations of cellular components, molecular functions, and biological processes used in the annotation of genes and gene products. These constitute three separate ontologies, of cellular components), molecular functions and biological processes, respectively. The question we address here is: how are the terms in these three separate ontologies related to each other? We use statistical methods and (...)
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  2. Genes, Women, Equality. [REVIEW]D. Dickenson - 2002 - Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (3):208-209.
    Review of Mary Mahowald, Genes, Women, Equality.
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  3. The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their func- tionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adapta- tions, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In (...)
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  4. Genotype–Phenotype Mapping and the End of the ‘Genes as Blueprint’ Metaphor.Massimo Pigliucci - 2010 - Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B 365:557–566.
    In a now classic paper published in 1991, Alberch introduced the concept of genotype–phenotype (G!P) mapping to provide a framework for a more sophisticated discussion of the integration between genetics and developmental biology that was then available. The advent of evo-devo first and of the genomic era later would seem to have superseded talk of transitions in phenotypic space and the like, central to Alberch’s approach. On the contrary, this paper shows that recent empirical and theoretical advances have only sharpened (...)
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  5. Alternative Splicing, the Gene Concept, and Evolution.Stephen Downes - 2004 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (1):91 - 104.
    Alternative splicing allows for the production of many gene products from a single coding sequence. I introduce the concept of alternative splicing via some examples. I then discuss some current hypotheses about the explanatory role of alternative splicing, including the claim that splicing is a significant contributor to the difference in complexity between the human genome and proteosome. Hypotheses such as these bring into question our working concepts of the gene. I examine several gene concepts introduced to cope with processes (...)
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  6. Cohesion, Gene Flow, and the Nature of Species.Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):59-77.
    A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene flow that (...)
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  7. Genes `For' Phenotypes: A Modern History View.Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Massimo Pigliucci - 2001 - Biology and Philosophy 16 (2):189--213.
    We attempt to improve the understanding of the notion of agene being `for a phenotypic trait or traits. Considering theimplicit functional ascription of one thing being `for another,we submit a more restrictive version of `gene for talk.Accordingly, genes are only to be thought of as being forphenotypic traits when good evidence is available that thepresence or prevalence of the gene in a population is the resultof natural selection on that particular trait, and that theassociation between that trait and the gene (...)
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  8. Why the Gene Will Not Return.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (2):287-310.
    I argue that four of the fundamental claims of those calling themselves `genic pluralists'Philip Kitcher, Kim Sterelny, and Ken Watersare defective. First, they claim that once genic selectionism is recognized, the units of selection problems will be dissolved. Second, Sterelny and Kitcher claim that there are no targets of selection. Third, Sterelny, Kitcher, and Waters claim that they have a concept of genic causation that allows them to give independent genic causal accounts of all selection processes. I argue that each (...)
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  9. The Unified Medical Language System and the Gene Ontology: Some Critical Reflections.Anand Kumar & Barry Smith - 2003 - In A. Günter, R. Kruse & B. Neumann (eds.), KI 2003: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Berlin: Springer. pp. 135-148.
    The Unified Medical Language System and the Gene Ontology are among the most widely used terminology resources in the biomedical domain. However, when we evaluate them in the light of simple principles for wellconstructed ontologies we find a number of characteristic inadequacies. Employing the theory of granular partitions, a new approach to the understanding of ontologies and of the relationships ontologies bear to instances in reality, we provide an application of this theory in relation to an example drawn from the (...)
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Gene Concepts
  1. This is the Synthetic Biology That Is. [REVIEW]Daniel Liu - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:89-93.
    Review of: Sophia Roosth, Synthetic: How Life Got Made (University of Chicago Press, 2017); and Andrew S. Balmer, Katie Bulpin, and Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Synthetic Biology: A Sociology of Changing Practices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
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  2. Re-Examining the Gene in Personalized Genomics.Jordan Bartol - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (10):2529-2546.
    Personalized genomics companies (PG; also called ‘direct-to-consumer genetics’) are businesses marketing genetic testing to consumers over the Internet. While much has been written about these new businesses, little attention has been given to their roles in science communication. This paper provides an analysis of the gene concept presented to customers and the relation between the information given and the science behind PG. Two quite different gene concepts are present in company rhetoric, but only one features in the science. To explain (...)
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  3. Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds.Marcel Weber - 2014 - In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does not (...)
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  4. Darwin on Variation and Heredity.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2000 - Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):425-455.
    Darwin's ideas on variation, heredity, and development differ significantly from twentieth-century views. First, Darwin held that environmental changes, acting either on the reproductive organs or the body, were necessary to generate variation. Second, heredity was a developmental, not a transmissional, process; variation was a change in the developmental process of change. An analysis of Darwin's elaboration and modification of these two positions from his early notebooks (1836-1844) to the last edition of the /Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication/ (1875) (...)
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Genome Project
  1. No Wisdom in the Crowd: Genome Annotation at the Time of Big Data - Current Status and Future Prospects.Antoine Danchin - 2018 - Microbial Biotechnology 11 (4):588-605.
    Science and engineering rely on the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge to make discoveries and create new designs. Discovery-driven genome research rests on knowledge passed on via gene annotations. In response to the deluge of sequencing big data, standard annotation practice employs automated procedures that rely on majority rules. We argue this hinders progress through the generation and propagation of errors, leading investigators into blind alleys. More subtly, this inductive process discourages the discovery of novelty, which remains essential in biological (...)
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  2. The Planteome Database: An Integrated Resource for Reference Ontologies, Plant Genomics and Phenomics.Laurel Cooper, Austin Meier, Marie-Angélique Laporte, Justin L. Elser, Chris Mungall, Brandon T. Sinn, Dario Cavaliere, Seth Carbon, Nathan A. Dunn, Barry Smith, Botong Qu, Justin Preece, Eugene Zhang, Sinisa Todorovic, Georgios Gkoutos, John H. Doonan, Dennis W. Stevenson, Elizabeth Arnaud & Pankaj Jaiswal - 2018 - Nucleic Acids Research 46 (D1):D1168–D1180.
    The Planteome project provides a suite of reference and species-specific ontologies for plants and annotations to genes and phenotypes. Ontologies serve as common standards for semantic integration of a large and growing corpus of plant genomics, phenomics and genetics data. The reference ontologies include the Plant Ontology, Plant Trait Ontology, and the Plant Experimental Conditions Ontology developed by the Planteome project, along with the Gene Ontology, Chemical Entities of Biological Interest, Phenotype and Attribute Ontology, and others. The project also provides (...)
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  3. The Ontology of the Gene Ontology.Barry Smith, Jennifer Williams & Steffen Schulze-Kremer - 2003 - In AMIA 2003 Symposium Proceedings. Washington, DC: AMIA. pp. 609-613.
    The rapidly increasing wealth of genomic data has driven the development of tools to assist in the task of representing and processing information about genes, their products and their functions. One of the most important of these tools is the Gene Ontology (GO), which is being developed in tandem with work on a variety of bioinformatics databases. An examination of the structure of GO, however, reveals a number of problems, which we believe can be resolved by taking account of certain (...)
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  4. National Center for Biomedical Ontology: Advancing Biomedicine Through Structured Organization of Scientific Knowledge.Daniel L. Rubin, Suzanna E. Lewis, Chris J. Mungall, Misra Sima, Westerfield Monte, Ashburner Michael, Christopher G. Chute, Ida Sim, Harold Solbrig, M. A. Storey, Barry Smith, John D. Richter, Natasha Noy & Mark A. Musen - 2006 - Omics: A Journal of Integrative Biology 10 (2):185-198.
    The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is a consortium that comprises leading informaticians, biologists, clinicians, and ontologists, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap, to develop innovative technology and methods that allow scientists to record, manage, and disseminate biomedical information and knowledge in machine-processable form. The goals of the Center are (1) to help unify the divergent and isolated efforts in ontology development by promoting high quality open-source, standards-based tools to create, manage, and use ontologies, (2) to create (...)
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  5. Development of FuGO: An Ontology for Functional Genomics Investigations.Patricia L. Whetzel, Ryan R. Brinkman, Helen C. Causton, Liju Fan, Dawn Field, Jennifer Fostel, Gilberto Fragoso, Tanya Gray, Mervi Heiskana, Tina Hernandez-Boussard & Barry Smith - 2006 - Omics: A Journal of Integrative Biology 10 (2):199-204.
    The development of the Functional Genomics Investigation Ontology (FuGO) is a collaborative, international effort that will provide a resource for annotating functional genomics investigations, including the study design, protocols and instrumentation used, the data generated and the types of analysis performed on the data. FuGO will contain both terms that are universal to all functional genomics investigations and those that are domain specific. In this way, the ontology will serve as the “semantic glue” to provide a common understanding of data (...)
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  6. Protein Ontology: Enhancing and Scaling Up the Representation of Protein Entities.Darren A. Natale, Cecilia N. Arighi, Judith A. Blake, Jonathan Bona, Chuming Chen, Sheng-Chih Chen, Karen R. Christie, Julie Cowart, Peter D'Eustachio, Alexander D. Diehl, Harold J. Drabkin, William D. Duncan, Hongzhan Huang, Jia Ren, Karen Ross & Alan Ruttenberg - 2017 - Nucleic Acids Research 45 (D1):D339-D346.
    The Protein Ontology (PRO; http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/pr) formally defines and describes taxon-specific and taxon-neutral protein-related entities in three major areas: proteins related by evolution; proteins produced from a given gene; and protein-containing complexes. PRO thus serves as a tool for referencing protein entities at any level of specificity. To enhance this ability, and to facilitate the comparison of such entities described in different resources, we developed a standardized representation of proteoforms using UniProtKB as a sequence reference and PSI-MOD as a post-translational modification (...)
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  7. Controlled Vocabularies in Bioinformatics: A Case Study in the Gene Ontology.Barry Smith & Anand Kumar - 2004 - Drug Discovery Today: Biosilico 2 (6):246-252.
    The automatic integration of information resources in the life sciences is one of the most challenging goals facing biomedical informatics today. Controlled vocabularies have played an important role in realizing this goal, by making it possible to draw together information from heterogeneous sources secure in the knowledge that the same terms will also represent the same entities on all occasions of use. One of the most impressive achievements in this regard is the Gene Ontology (GO), which is rapidly acquiring the (...)
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  8. Introduction: Genomics and Philosophy of Race.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Roberta L. Millstein & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:1-4.
    This year’s topic is “Genomics and Philosophy of Race.” Different researchers might work on distinct subsets of the six thematic clusters below, which are neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive: (1) Concepts of ‘Race’; (2) Mathematical Modeling of Human History and Population Structure; (3) Data and Technologies of Human Genomics; (4) Biological Reality of Race; (5) Racialized Selves in a Global Context; (6) Pragmatic Consequences of ‘Race Talk’ among Biologists.
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  9. The National Center for Biomedical Ontology.Mark A. Musen, Natalya F. Noy, Nigam H. Shah, Patricia L. Whetzel, Christopher G. Chute, Margaret-Anne Story & Barry Smith - 2012 - Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 19 (2):190-195.
    The National Center for Biomedical Ontology is now in its seventh year. The goals of this National Center for Biomedical Computing are to: create and maintain a repository of biomedical ontologies and terminologies; build tools and web services to enable the use of ontologies and terminologies in clinical and translational research; educate their trainees and the scientific community broadly about biomedical ontology and ontology-based technology and best practices; and collaborate with a variety of groups who develop and use ontologies and (...)
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  10. The Protein Ontology: A Structured Representation of Protein Forms and Complexes.Darren Natale, Cecilia N. Arighi, Winona C. Barker, Judith A. Blake, Carol J. Bult, Michael Caudy, Harold J. Drabkin, Peter D’Eustachio, Alexei V. Evsikov, Hongzhan Huang, Jules Nchoutmboube, Natalia V. Roberts, Barry Smith, Jian Zhang & Cathy H. Wu - 2011 - Nucleic Acids Research 39 (1):D539-D545.
    The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides a formal, logically-based classification of specific protein classes including structured representations of protein isoforms, variants and modified forms. Initially focused on proteins found in human, mouse and Escherichia coli, PRO now includes representations of protein complexes. The PRO Consortium works in concert with the developers of other biomedical ontologies and protein knowledge bases to provide the ability to formally organize and integrate representations of precise protein forms so as to enhance accessibility to results of protein (...)
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  11. The Plant Ontology as a Tool for Comparative Plant Anatomy and Genomic Analyses.Laurel Cooper, Ramona Walls, Justin Elser, Maria A. Gandolfo, Dennis W. Stevenson, Barry Smith & Others - 2013 - Plant and Cell Physiology 54 (2):1-23..
    The Plant Ontology (PO; http://www.plantontology.org/) is a publicly-available, collaborative effort to develop and maintain a controlled, structured vocabulary (“ontology”) of terms to describe plant anatomy, morphology and the stages of plant development. The goals of the PO are to link (annotate) gene expression and phenotype data to plant structures and stages of plant development, using the data model adopted by the Gene Ontology. From its original design covering only rice, maize and Arabidopsis, the scope of the PO has been expanded (...)
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  12. Ontologies as Integrative Tools for Plant Science.Ramona Walls, Balaji Athreya, Laurel Cooper, Justin Elser, Maria A. Gandolfo, Pankaj Jaiswal, Christopher J. Mungall, Justin Preece, Stefan Rensing, Barry Smith & Dennis W. Stevenson - 2012 - American Journal of Botany 99 (8):1263–1275.
    Bio-ontologies are essential tools for accessing and analyzing the rapidly growing pool of plant genomic and phenomic data. Ontologies provide structured vocabularies to support consistent aggregation of data and a semantic framework for automated analyses and reasoning. They are a key component of the Semantic Web. This paper provides background on what bio-ontologies are, why they are relevant to botany, and the principles of ontology development. It includes an overview of ontologies and related resources that are relevant to plant science, (...)
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Genetic Determinism
  1. Reseña de "¿Estamos cableados?” (Are We Hardwired?) por Clark & Grunstein Oxford (2000).Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - In Delirios Utópicos Suicidas en el Siglo 21 La filosofía, la naturaleza humana y el colapso de la civilización Artículos y reseñas 2006-2019 4a Edición. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 181-183.
    -/- Esta es una excelente revisión de las interacciones gen/ambiente en el comportamiento y, a pesar de ser un poco anticuado, es una lectura fácil y valiosa. Empiezan con estudios gemelos que muestran el impacto abrumador de la genética en el comportamiento. Señalan los estudios cada vez más conocidos de Judith Harris, que amplían y resumen los hechos de que el ambiente doméstico compartido casi no tiene efecto sobre el comportamiento y que los niños adoptados crecen para ser tan diferentes (...)
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  2. Re-Examining the Gene in Personalized Genomics.Jordan Bartol - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (10):2529-2546.
    Personalized genomics companies (PG; also called ‘direct-to-consumer genetics’) are businesses marketing genetic testing to consumers over the Internet. While much has been written about these new businesses, little attention has been given to their roles in science communication. This paper provides an analysis of the gene concept presented to customers and the relation between the information given and the science behind PG. Two quite different gene concepts are present in company rhetoric, but only one features in the science. To explain (...)
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  3. Another Attack on Evolution, Rationality and Civilization. A Review of Nowak and Highfield ‘SuperCooperators’ (2012).Starks Michael - 2016 - In Michael Starks (ed.), Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 2nd Edition Feb 2018. Michael Starks. pp. 555-560.
    Nowak is (or was) a respected Harvard professor of mathematical biology with numerous well regarded publications. Sadly, he has chosen to launch an arrogant attack on science motivated by religious fervor. His recent actions show the evil consequences when universities accept money from religious groups, science journals are so awed by big names that they avoid proper peer review, and egos are permitted to get out of control. Most of this book is good, but it repeats the utterly misconceived attacks (...)
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  4. Genetic Determinism and the Innate-Acquired Distinction in Medicine.Maria E. Kronfeldner - 2009 - Medicine Studies (2):167-181.
    This article illustrates in which sense genetic determinism is still part of the contemporary interactionist consensus in medicine. Three dimensions of this consensus are discussed: kinds of causes, a continuum of traits ranging from monogenetic diseases to car accidents, and different kinds of determination due to different norms of reaction. On this basis, this article explicates in which sense the interactionist consensus presupposes the innate?acquired distinction. After a descriptive Part 1, Part 2 reviews why the innate?acquired distinction is under attack (...)
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  5. Genetic Determinism and the Innate-Acquired Distinction.Maria Kronfeldner - 2009 - Medicine Studies 1 (2):167-181.
    This article illustrates in which sense genetic determinism is still part of the contemporary interactionist consensus in medicine. Three dimensions of this consensus are discussed: kinds of causes, a continuum of traits ranging from monogenetic diseases to car accidents, and different kinds of determination due to different norms of reaction. On this basis, this article explicates in which sense the interactionist consensus presupposes the innate?acquired distinction. After a descriptive Part 1, Part 2 reviews why the innate?acquired distinction is under attack (...)
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Genetic Information
  1. Omnipresent Maxwell’s Demons Orchestrate Information Management in Living Cells.Antoine Danchin Gregory Boel, Olivier Danot, Victor de Lorenzo & Antoine Danchin - 2019 - Microbial Biotechnology 12 (2):210-242.
    The development of synthetic biology calls for accurate understanding of the critical functions that allow construction and operation of a living cell. Besides coding for ubiquitous structures, minimal genomes encode a wealth of functions that dissipate energy in an unanticipated way. Analysis of these functions shows that they are meant to manage information under conditions when discrimination of substrates in a noisy background is preferred over a simple recognition process. We show here that many of these functions, including transporters and (...)
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  2. Generador de Genes (Gengen).Gabriel Garduño-Soto & Hugo Padilla Chacón - 1992 - In Garduño-Soto, G. and Padilla-Chacón, H. “Generador de Genes (Gengen).” VIIIa. Conferencia Internacional: Las Computadoras en Instituciones de Educación y de Investigación. Cómputo Académico, UNAM, UNISYS, México, 1992. Mexico City, Mexico: National Autonomous University of Mexico. pp. 262-265.
    Algorithmical procedure within a logical system to generate DNA chains through a formal rule up to the generation of a STOP codon's signal. Work developped under the direction of the Mexican Professor Hugo Padilla Chacón.
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  3. What Do Identifiers in HL7 Identify? An Essay in the Ontology of Identity.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2009 - In Mitsu Okada (ed.), Proceedings of InterOntology (Tokyo, Japan, February 27-March 1, 2009). Tokyo: Keio University Press. pp. 77-86.
    Health Level 7 (HL7) is an organization seeking to provide universal standards for the exchange of healthcare information. In a document entitled ‘HL7 Version 3 Standard: Data Types’, the HL7 organization advances descriptions of data types recom- mended for use as identifiers. We will argue that the descriptions supplied provide insufficient guidance as to what exactly the entities are which these data types uniquely identify. Are they real things, such as persons or pieces of equipment? Or are they representations of (...)
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  4. Protein Ontology: A Controlled Structured Network of Protein Entities.A. Natale Darren, N. Arighi Cecilia, A. Blake Judith, J. Bult Carol, R. Christie Karen, Cowart Julie, D’Eustachio Peter, D. Diehl Alexander, J. Drabkin Harold, Helfer Olivia, Barry Smith & Others - 2013 - Nucleic Acids Research 42 (1):D415-21..
    The Protein Ontology (PRO; http://proconsortium.org) formally defines protein entities and explicitly represents their major forms and interrelations. Protein entities represented in PRO corresponding to single amino acid chains are categorized by level of specificity into family, gene, sequence and modification metaclasses, and there is a separate metaclass for protein complexes. All metaclasses also have organism-specific derivatives. PRO complements established sequence databases such as UniProtKB, and interoperates with other biomedical and biological ontologies such as the Gene Ontology (GO). PRO relates to (...)
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  5. Enhancing GO for the Sake of Clinical Bioinformatics.Anand Kumar & Barry Smith - 2004 - Proceedings of the Bio-Ontologies Workshop , Glasgow 133.
    Recent work on the quality assurance of the Gene Ontology (GO, Gene Ontology Consortium 2004) from the perspective of both linguistic and ontological organization has made it clear that GO lacks the kind of formalism needed to support logic-based reasoning. At the same time it is no less clear that GO has proven itself to be an excellent terminological resource that can serve to combine together a variety of biomedical database and information systems. Given the strengths of GO, it is (...)
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  6. Innateness as Genetic Adaptation: Lorenz Redivivus (and Revised).Nathan Cofnas - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (4):559-580.
    In 1965, Konrad Lorenz grounded the innate–acquired distinction in what he believed were the only two possible sources of information that can underlie adaptedness: phylogenetic and individual experience. Phylogenetic experience accumulates in the genome by the process of natural selection. Individual experience is acquired ontogenetically through interacting with the environment during the organism’s lifetime. According to Lorenz, the adaptive information underlying innate traits is stored in the genome. Lorenz erred in arguing that genetic adaptation is the only means of accumulating (...)
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  7. Model for DNA and Protein Interactions and the Function of the Operator.Alfred Gierer - 1966 - Nature 212:1480-1481.
    The short paper introduces the concept of possible branches of double-stranded DNA (later sometimes called palindromes): Certain sequences of nucleotides may be followed, after a short unpaired stretch, by a complementary sequence in reversed order, such that each DNA strand can fold back on itself, and the DNA assumes a cruciform or tree-like structure. This is postulated to interact with regulatory proteins. -/- .
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  8. Toll-Like Receptor Signaling in Vertebrates: Testing the Integration of Protein, Complex, and Pathway Data in the Protein Ontology Framework.Cecilia Arighi, Veronica Shamovsky, Anna Maria Masci, Alan Ruttenberg, Barry Smith, Darren Natale, Cathy Wu & Peter D’Eustachio - 2015 - PLoS ONE 10 (4):e0122978.
    The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides terms for and supports annotation of species-specific protein complexes in an ontology framework that relates them both to their components and to species-independent families of complexes. Comprehensive curation of experimentally known forms and annotations thereof is expected to expose discrepancies, differences, and gaps in our knowledge. We have annotated the early events of innate immune signaling mediated by Toll-Like Receptor 3 and 4 complexes in human, mouse, and chicken. The resulting ontology and annotation data set (...)
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  9. The Development of Non-Coding RNA Ontology.Jingshan Huang, Karen Eilbeck, Barry Smith, Judith Blake, Deijing Dou, Weili Huang, Darren Natale, Alan Ruttenberg, Jun Huan, Michael Zimmermann, Guoqian Jiang, Yu Lin, Bin Wu, Harrison Strachan, Nisansa de Silva & Mohan Vamsi Kasukurthi - 2016 - International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics 15 (3):214--232.
    Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly improved over the past decade. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data is facing critical challenges due to the lack of a comprehensive ontology to serve as common data elements and data exchange standards in the field. We developed the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) to handle this situation. By providing a formally defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, the NCRO aims to fill a specific and highly needed niche in semantic annotation of (...)
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  10. Which Kind of Causal Specificity Matters Biologically?Marcel Weber - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):574-585.
    Griffiths et al. (2015) have proposed a quantitative measure of causal specificity and used it to assess various attempts to single out genetic causes as being causally more specific than other cellular mechanisms, for example, alternative splicing. Focusing in particular on developmental processes, they have identified a number of important challenges for this project. In this discussion note, I would like to show how these challenges can be met.
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  11. FRUSTRATION: PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PREREQUISITES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SYNTHETIC CELL.Antoine Danchin & Agnieszka Sekowska - 2008 - In Martin G. Hicks and Carsten Kettner (ed.), Proceedings of the International Beilstein Symposium on Systems Chemistry May 26th – 30th, 2008 Bozen, Italy. Beilstein Institute. pp. 1-19.
    To construct a synthetic cell we need to understand the rules that permit life. A central idea in modern biology is that in addition to the four entities making reality, matter, energy, space and time, a fifth one, information, plays a central role. As a consequence of this central importance of the management of information, the bacterial cell is organised as a Turing machine, where the machine, with its compartments defining an inside and an outside and its metabolism, reads and (...)
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  12. Structure and Biological Function of Ribonucleic Acid From Tobacco Mosaic Virus.Alfred Gierer - 1957 - Nature 179:1297-1299.
    Within the sedimentation diagram of infective RNA preparations isolated from Tobacco Mosaic Virus, undegraded molecules form a sharp peak with a molecular weight corresponding to the total RNA content of the virus particle. Degradation kinetics by ribonuclease is of the linear, single-target type, indicating that the RNA is single-stranded. The intact RNA of a virus particle thus forms one big single-stranded molecule. Quantitative evaluation of the effect degradation by RNA-ase on the infectivity of the RNA shows that the integrity of (...)
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  13. Production of Mutants of Tobacco Mosaic Virus by Chemical Alteration of its Nucleic Acid in Vitro.Alfred Gierer & K. W. Mundry - 1958 - Nature 182:1457-1458.
    The generation of viral mutants in vitro was demonstrated by treatment of the isolated RNA of Tobacco Mosaic Virus by nitrous acid. This agent causes deaminations converting cytosine into uracil, and adenine into hypoxanthine. Our assay for mutagenesis was the production of local lesions on a tobacco variety on which the untreated strain produces systemic infections only. A variety of different mutants are generated in this way. Quantitative analysis of the kinetics of mutagenesis leads to the conclusion that alteration of (...)
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  14. Function of Aggregated Reticulocyte Ribosomes in Protein Synthesis.Alfred Gierer - 1963 - J. Mol. Biol 6:148-157.
    Applying mild methods of preparation, part of the ribosomes of rabbit reticulocytes are found in aggregates (later called polyribosomes) of up to six ribosomal units. Upon treatment with RNA-ase, they desintegrate into single ribosomes. The fast-sedimenting aggregates are found to be more active in protein synthesis in terms of incorporation of radioactive amino acids, whereas the single ribosomes are more receptive to stimulation by the artificial messenger RNA poly-U. The findings indicate that the linkage of ribosomes into aggregates is due (...)
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  15. Infectivity of Ribonucleic Acid From Tobacco Mosaic Virus.Alfred Gierer & Gerhard Schramm - 1956 - Nature 177:702-703.
    Upon separation of the protein from the nucleic acid component of tobacco mosaic virus by phenol, using a fast and gentle procedure, the nucleic acid is infective in assays on tobacco leaves. A series of qualitative and quantitative control experiments demonstrates that the biological activity cannot depend on residual proteins in the preparation, but is a property of isolated nucleic acid which is thus the genetic material of the virus.
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  16. The Indeterminacy of Genes: The Dilemma of Difference in Medicine and Health Care.Jamie P. Ross - 2017 - Social Theory and Health 1 (15):1-24.
    How can researchers use race, as they do now, to conduct health-care studies when its very definition is in question? The belief that race is a social construct without “biological authenticity” though widely shared across disciplines in social science is not subscribed to by traditional science. Yet with an interdisciplinary approach, the two horns of the social construct/genetics dilemma of race are not mutually exclusive. We can use traditional science to provide a rigorous framework and use a social-science approach so (...)
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  17. Causal Selection Versus Causal Parity in Biology: Relevant Counterfactuals and Biologically Normal Interventions.Marcel Weber - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters & James Woodward (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Causal Reasoning in Biology. Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science. Vol. XXI. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Causal selection is the task of picking out, from a field of known causally relevant factors, some factors as elements of an explanation. The Causal Parity Thesis in the philosophy of biology challenges the usual ways of making such selections among different causes operating in a developing organism. The main target of this thesis is usually gene centrism, the doctrine that genes play some special role in ontogeny, which is often described in terms of information-bearing or programming. This paper is (...)
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  18. Genes, Causation and Intentionality.Marcel Weber - 2005 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):399-411.
    I want to exhibit the deeper metaphysical reasons why some common ways of describing the causal role of genes in development and evolution are problematic. Specifically, I show why using the concept of information in an intentional sense in genetics is inappropriate, even given a naturalistic account of intentionality. Furthermore, I argue that descriptions that use notions such as programming, directing or orchestrating are problematic not for empirical reasons, but because they are not strictly causal. They are intentional. By contrast, (...)
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  19. The Resurrection of Innateness.James Maclaurin - 2002 - The Monist 85 (1):105-130.
    The notion of innateness is widely used, particularly in philosophy of mind, cognitive science and linguistics. Despite this popularity, it remains a controversial idea. This is partly because of the variety of ways in which it can be explicated and partly because it appears to embody the suggestion that we can determine the relative causal contributions of genes and environment in the development of biological individuals. As these causes are not independent, the claim is metaphysically suspect. This paper argues that (...)
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  20. The Introduction of Information Into Neurobiology.Justin Garson - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):926-936.
    The first use of the term "information" to describe the content of nervous impulse occurs 20 years prior to Shannon`s (1948) work, in Edgar Adrian`s The Basis of Sensation (1928). Although, at least throughout the 1920s and early 30s, the term "information" does not appear in Adrian`s scientific writings to describe the content of nervous impulse, the notion that the structure of nervous impulse constitutes a type of message subject to certain constraints plays an important role in all of his (...)
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