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Guenther Witzany [25]Gunther Witzany [4]G. Witzany [1]
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Guenther Witzany
Telos - Philosophische Praxis
  1. Rethinking quasispecies theory: From fittest type to cooperative consortia.Luis Villarreal & Guenther Witzany - 2013 - World Journal of Biological Chemistry 4:79-90.
    Recent investigations surprisingly indicate that single RNA "stem-loops" operate solely by chemical laws that act without selective forces, and in contrast, self-ligated consortia of RNA stem-loops operate by biological selection. To understand consortial RNA selection, the concept of single quasi-species and its mutant spectra as drivers of RNA variation and evolution is rethought here. Instead, we evaluate the current RNA world scenario in which consortia of cooperating RNA stem-loops are the basic players. We thus redefine quasispecies as RNA quasispecies consortia (...)
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  2. Life: The Communicative Structure.Günther Witzany - 2000 - Norderstedt: Libri Books on Demand.
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  3. Metaphysical and Postmetaphysical Relationships of Humans with Nature and Life.Guenther Witzany - 2010 - In Biocommunication and Natural Genome Editing. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 01-26.
    First, I offer a short overview on the classical occidental philosophy as propounded by the ancient Greeks and the natural philosophies of the last 2000 years until the dawn of the empiricist logic of science in the twentieth century, which wanted to delimitate classical metaphysics from empirical sciences. In contrast to metaphysical concepts which didn’t reflect on the language with which they tried to explain the whole realm of entities empiricist logic of science initiated the end of metaphysical theories by (...)
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  4. From the "'logic of Molecular Syntax' to Molecular Pragmatism. Explanatory deficits in Manfred Eigen's concept of language and communication.Guenther Witzany - 1995 - Evolution and Cognition 2 (1):148-168.
    Manfred Eigen employs the terms language and communication to explain key recombination processes of DNA as well as to explain the self-organization of human language and communication: Life processes as well as language and communication processes are governed by the logic of a molecular syntax, which is the exact depiction of a principally formalizable reality. The author of the present contribution demonstrates that this view of Manfred Eigen’s cannot be sufficiently substantiated and that it must be supplemented by an approach (...)
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  5. The DNA Habitat and its RNA Inhabitants.Luis Villarreal & Guenther Witzany - 2013 - Genomics Insights 6:1-12.
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  6. Language and Communication as Universal Requirements for Life.Gunther Witzany - 2014 - In Kolb Vera (ed.), Astrobiology: An Evolutionary Approach. CRC Press. pp. 349-370.
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  7. Life is physics and chemistry and communication.Gunther Witzany - 2015 - In Guenther Witzany (ed.), DNA Habitats and Their RNA Inhabitants. pp. 1-9.
    Manfred Eigen extended Erwin Schroedinger’s concept of “life is physics and chemistry” through the introduction of information theory and cybernetic systems theory into “life is physics and chemistry and information.” Based on this assumption, Eigen developed the concepts of quasispecies and hypercycles, which have been dominant in molecular biology and virology ever since. He insisted that the genetic code is not just used metaphorically: it represents a real natural language.However, the basics of scientific knowledge changed dramatically within the second half (...)
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  8. Evolution of Genetic Information without Error Replication.Guenther Witzany - 2020 - In Theoretical Information Studies. Singapur: pp. 295-319.
    Darwinian evolutionary theory has two key terms, variations and biological selection, which finally lead to survival of the fittest variant. With the rise of molecular genetics, variations were explained as results of error replications out of the genetic master templates. For more than half a century, it has been accepted that new genetic information is mostly derived from random error-based events. But the error replication narrative has problems explaining the sudden emergence of new species, new phenotypic traits, and genome innovations (...)
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  9.  63
    Quasispecies Productivity.Guenther Witzany - 2024 - The Science of Nature (Naturwissenschaften) 111:11.
    Abstract The quasispecies theory is a helpful concept in the explanation of RNA virus evolution and behaviour, with a relevant impact on methods used to fight viral diseases. It has undergone some adaptations to integrate new empirical data, especially the non-deterministic nature of mutagenesis, and the variety of behavioural motifs in cooperation, competition, communication, innovation, integration, and exaptation. Also, the consortial structure of quasispecies with complementary roles of memory genomes of minority populations better fits the empirical data than did the (...)
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  10. Communication as the Main Characteristic of Life.Guenther Witzany - 2019 - In Vera M. Kolb (ed.), Handbook of Astrobiology. Boca Raton: CrC Press. pp. 91-105.
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  11. Introduction: Key Levels of Biocommunication of Bacteria.Guenther Witzany - 2011 - In Witzany (ed.), Biocommunication in Soil Microorganisms. Springer. pp. 1--34.
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  12. What is Life?Guenther Witzany - 2020 - Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences 7:1-13.
    In searching for life in extraterrestrial space, it is essential to act based on an unequivocal definition of life. In the twentieth century, life was defined as cells that self-replicate, metabolize, and are open for mutations, without which genetic information would remain unchangeable, and evolution would be impossible. Current definitions of life derive from statistical mechanics, physics, and chemistry of the twentieth century in which life is considered to function machine like, ignoring a central role of communication. Recent observations show (...)
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  13. That is life: communicating RNA networks from viruses and cells in continuous interaction.Guenther Witzany - 2019 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences:1-16.
    All the conserved detailed results of evolution stored in DNA must be read, transcribed, and translated via an RNAmediated process. This is required for the development and growth of each individual cell. Thus, all known living organisms fundamentally depend on these RNA-mediated processes. In most cases, they are interconnected with other RNAs and their associated protein complexes and function in a strictly coordinated hierarchy of temporal and spatial steps (i.e., an RNA network). Clearly, all cellular life as we know it (...)
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  14. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?Guenther Witzany - 2011 - Communicative and Integrative Biology 4 (5):516-520.
    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural (...)
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  15. DNA Habitats and Their RNA Inhabitants.Guenther Witzany (ed.) - 2015
    Most molecular biological concepts derive from physical chemical assumptions about the genetic code that are basically more than 40 years old. Additionally, systems biology, another quantitative approach, investigates the sum of interrelations to obtain a more holistic picture of nucleotide sequence order. Recent empirical data on genetic code compositions and rearrangements by mobile genetic elements and non-coding RNAs, together with results of virus research and their role in evolution, does not really fit into these concepts and compel a re-examination. In (...)
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  16. The Biosemiotics of Plant Communication.Günther Witzany - 2008 - American Journal of Semiotics 24 (1-3):39-56.
    This contribution demonstrates that the development and growth of plants depends on the success of complex communication processes. These communication processes are primarily sign-mediated interactions and are not simply an mechanical exchange of ‘information’, as that term has come to be understood (or misunderstood) in science. Rather, such interactions as I will be describing here involve the active coordination and organisation of a great variety of different behavioural patterns — all of which must be mediated by signs. Thus proposed, a (...)
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  17. Key Levels of Biocommunication.Guenther Witzany - 2016 - In Richard Gordon & Joseph Seckbach (eds.), Biocommunication: Sign-mediated interactions between cells and organisms. World Scientific. pp. 37-61.
    Organisms actively compete for environmental resources. They assess their surroundings, estimate how much energy they need for particular goals, and then realize the optimum variant. They take measures to control certain environmental resources. They perceive themselves and can distinguish between “self” and “non-self.” Current empirical data on all domains of life indicate that unicellular organisms such as bacteria, archaea, giant viruses, and protozoa as well as multicellular organisms such as animals, fungi, and plants coordinate and organize their essential life functions (...)
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  18. Artificial and Natural Genetic Information Processing.Guenther Witzany - 2017 - In Mark Burgin & Wolfgang Hofkirchner (eds.), Information Studies and the Quest for Transdisciplinarity. Singapore: World Scientific. pp. 523-547.
    Conventional methods of genetic engineering and more recent genome editing techniques focus on identifying genetic target sequences for manipulation. This is a result of historical concept of the gene which was also the main assumption of the ENCODE project designed to identify all functional elements in the human genome sequence. However, the theoretical core concept changed dramatically. The old concept of genetic sequences which can be assembled and manipulated like molecular bricks has problems in explaining the natural genome-editing competences of (...)
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  19.  32
    Memory and Learning as Key Competences of Living Organisms.G. Witzany - 2018 - In Baluska Frantisek, Gagliano Monica & Guenther Witzany (eds.), Memory and Learning in Plants. Cham: Springer. pp. 1-16.
    Organisms that share the capability of storing information about experiences in the past have an actively generated background resource on which they can compare and evaluate more recent experiences in order to quickly or even better react than in previous situations. This is an essential competence for all reaction and adaptation purposes of living organisms. Such memory/learning skills can be found from akaryotes up to unicellular eukaryotes, fungi, animals and plants, although until recently, it had been mentioned only as a (...)
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  20. To the End of Dogmatism in Molecular Biology.Guenther Witzany - 2021 - Biosemiotics 14 (1):67-72.
    Denis Nobel looks at four important misinterpretations of molecular biology concerning evolutionary processes and demonstrates that the new synthesis today looks rather outdated. The modern synthesis is nearly 80 years old. The proponents who worked out the modern synthesis had no access to the current knowledge on cell biology, genetics, epigenetics, RNA biology and virology. Therefore this contribution adds several aspects which Nobel’s article does not explicitly mention, providing some examples for a better understanding of evolutionary novelty.
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  21. The Secrets of Life - The Vital Roles of RNA Networks and Viruses.Luis Villarreal & Guenther Witzany - 2020 - In Nancy Dess (ed.), A Multidisciplinary Aproach to Embodiment - Understanding Human Being. London: Routledge. pp. 20-26.
    Viruses and related infectious genetic parasites are the most abundant biological agents on this planet. They invade all cellular organisms, are key agents in the generation of adaptive and innate immune systems, and drive nearly all regulatory processes within living cells.
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  22. Evolution and Technique of Human Thinking.Guenther Witzany - 2015 - Biosemiotics 8 (3):503-508.
    IntroductionBy ‘philosophy of consciousness’ we mean an assembly of different approaches such as philosophy of mind , perception, rational conclusions, information processing and contradictory conceptions such as holistic ‘all is mind’ perspectives and their atomistic counterparts.Since ancient Greeks philosophy has provided widespread debates on pneuma, nous, psyche, spiritus, mind, and Geist. In more recent times the philosophy of consciousness has become part of psychology, sociology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, communication science, information theory, cybernetic systems theory, synthetic biology, biolinguistics, bioinformatics and (...)
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  23. Natural Genome Editing from a Biocommunicative Perspective.Guenther Witzany - 2011 - Biosemiotics 4 (3):349-368.
    Natural genome editing from a biocommunicative perspective is the competent agent-driven generation and integration of meaningful nucleotide sequences into pre-existing genomic content arrangements, and the ability to (re-)combine and (re-)regulate them according to context-dependent (i.e. adaptational) purposes of the host organism. Natural genome editing integrates both natural editing of genetic code and epigenetic marking that determines genetic reading patterns. As agents that edit genetic code and epigenetically mark genomic structures, viral and subviral agents have been suggested because they may be (...)
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  24. Sprache und Kommunikation als zentrale Struktur- und Organisationsprinzipien belebter Natur.Guenther Witzany - 2002 - In Ludger Albers & Ottmar Leiß (eds.), Körper - Sprache - Weltbild: Integration Biologischer Und Kultureller Interpretationen in der Medizin ; Mit 36 Tabellen. Schattauer. pp. 87-96.
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  25. Can subcellular organization be explained only by physical principles?Guenther Witzany & Frantisek Baluska - 2015 - Communicative and Integrative Biology 8 (4):e1009796.
    In a recent forum article, Dan Needleman and Jan Brugues argue that, despite the astonishing advances in cell biology, a fundamental understanding of even the most well-studied subcellular biological processes is lacking. This lack of understanding is evidenced by our inability to make precise predictions of subcellular and cellular behaviors. They suggest that to achieve such an under- standing, we need to apply a combination of quantitative experiments with new theoretical concepts and determine the physical principles of subcellular biological organization. (...)
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  26. Pragmatic turn in biology: From biological molecules to.Guenther Witzany - 2014 - World Journal of Biological Chemistry 5 (3):279-285.
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  27. Zeichenprozesse als Bedingung der Möglichkeit von Evolution. Zur Notwendigkeit einer Molekularpragmatik.Guenther Witzany - 1993 - Zeitschrift Für Semiotik 2 (15):107-125.
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  28.  19
    Memory and Learning in Plants.Baluska Frantisek, Gagliano Monica & Guenther Witzany (eds.) - 2018 - Cham: Springer.
    This book assembles recent research on memory and learning in plants. Organisms that share a capability to store information about experiences in the past have an actively generated background resource on which they can compare and evaluate coming experiences in order to react faster or even better. This is an essential tool for all adaptation purposes. Such memory/learning skills can be found from bacteria up to fungi, animals and plants, although until recently it had been mentioned only as capabilities of (...)
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  29. How Viruses Made Us Humans. [REVIEW]Guenther Witzany - 2024 - In Nathalie Gontier, Andy Lock & Chris Sinha (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Human Symbolic Evolution. OUP. pp. 1-20.
    Current research on the origin of DNA and RNA, viruses, and mobile genetic elements prompts a re-evaluation of the origin and nature of genetic material as the driving force behind evolutionary novelty. While scholars used to think that novel features resulted from random genetic mutations of an individual’s specific genome, today we recognize the important role that acquired viruses and mobile genetic elements have played in introducing evolutionary novelty within the genomes of species. Viral infections and subviral RNAs can enter (...)
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  30. Paul Bains: The primacy of semiosis: An ontology of relations. Book review. [REVIEW]Guenther Witzany - 2006 - Acta Biotheoretica 54 (4):305-311.
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