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Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life

By: HP Yockey

259 pages, Illus

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Feb 2011 | Edition: 2 | #188167 | ISBN-13: 9780521169585
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £36.99 $48/€42 approx
Hardback | Jun 2005 | Edition: 2 | #34716 | ISBN: 0521802938
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £92.99 $122/€106 approx

About this book

Presents a timely introduction to the use of information theory and coding theory in molecular biology. The genetical information system, because it is linear and digital, resembles the algorithmic language of computers. George Gamow pointed out that the application of Shannon's information theory breaks genetics and molecular biology out of the descriptive mode into the quantitative mode and Dr Yockey develops this theme, discussing how information theory and coding theory can be applied to molecular biology. He discusses how these tools for measuring the information in the sequences of the genome and the proteome are essential for our complete understanding of the nature and origin of life. The author writes for both mathematicians and molecular and evolutionary biologists, with more advanced mathematical concepts included in an appendix for reference.


1. The genetic information system; 2. James Watson, Francis Crick, George Gamow and the genetic code; 3. The central dogma of molecular biology; 4. The measure of information content in the genetic message; 5. Communication of information from the genome to the proteome; 6. The information content or complexity of protein families; 7. Evolution of the genetic code and its modern characteristics; 8. Haeckel's Urschleim and the role of the central dogma in the origin of life; 9. Philosophical approaches to the origin of life; 10. Error catastrophe and the hypercycles of Eigen and Schuster; 11. Randomness, complexity, the unknowable and the impossible; 12. Does evolution need an intelligent designer?

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Hubert Yockey is the author of Information Theory and Molecular Biology (1992).

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