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  1. Images of Cell Trees, Cell Lines, and Cell Fates: The Legacy of Ernst Haeckel and August Weismann in Stem Cell Research.Dröscher Ariane - 2014 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (2):157-186.
    Stem cells did not become a proper research object until the 1960 s. Yet the term and the basic mind-set—namely the conception of single undifferentiated cells, be they embryonic or adult, as the basic units responsible for a directed process of development, differentiation and increasing specialisation—were already in place at the end of the nineteenth century and then transmitted on a non-linear path in the form of tropes and diagrams. Ernst Haeckel and August Weismann played a special role in this (...)
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  • Horizontal Persistence and the Complexity Hypothesis.Aaron Novick & W. Ford Doolittle - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-22.
    This paper investigates the complexity hypothesis in microbial evolutionary genetics from a philosophical vantage. This hypothesis, in its current version, states that genes with high connectivity are likely to be resistant to being horizontally transferred. We defend four claims. There is an important distinction between two different ways in which a gene family can persist: vertically and horizontally. There is a trade-off between these two modes of persistence, such that a gene better at achieving one will be worse at achieving (...)
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  • Natural Taxonomy in Light of Horizontal Gene Transfer.Cheryl P. Andam, David Williams & J. Peter Gogarten - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):589-602.
    We discuss the impact of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) on phylogenetic reconstruction and taxonomy. We review the power of HGT as a creative force in assembling new metabolic pathways, and we discuss the impact that HGT has on phylogenetic reconstruction. On one hand, shared derived characters are created through transferred genes that persist in the recipient lineage, either because they were adaptive in the recipient lineage or because they resulted in a functional replacement. On the other hand, taxonomic patterns in (...)
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  • Gene Sharing and Genome Evolution: Networks in Trees and Trees in Networks.Robert G. Beiko - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):659-673.
    Frequent lateral genetic transfer undermines the existence of a unique “tree of life” that relates all organisms. Vertical inheritance is nonetheless of vital interest in the study of microbial evolution, and knowing the “tree of cells” can yield insights into ecological continuity, the rates of change of different cellular characters, and the evolutionary plasticity of genomes. Notwithstanding within-species recombination, the relationships most frequently recovered from genomic data at shallow to moderate taxonomic depths are likely to reflect cellular inheritance. At the (...)
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  • The Future of Systematics: Tree Thinking Without the Tree.Joel D. Velasco - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):624-636.
    Phylogenetic trees are meant to represent the genealogical history of life and apparently derive their justification from the existence of the tree of life and the fact that evolutionary processes are treelike. However, there are a number of problems for these assumptions. Here it is argued that once we understand the important role that phylogenetic trees play as models that contain idealizations, we can accept these criticisms and deny the reality of the tree while justifying the continued use of trees (...)
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