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04: Information and information-processing in biological systems

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Hauptschule
Seminar / Seminar
German and English language

The notion of information originated in communication theory and deals with processing of messages in the transmission through channels. In biology, information has a much broader meaning and comprises its creation and maintenance in evolution. Biological information is intimately connected with genetics but other forms of information transfer, so-called epigenetic processes, are indispensable for the development of organisms from a single fertilized cell to adulthood. We shall present an illustrative introduction into modern molecular genetics and evolution. What makes biology unique and life pow-erful is the combination of self-organization and the genetic memory. Models based on simple mathematics provide insight into the creation of complex systems through adaptation. Finally, we shall try to address the question whether the increase in complexity is an inevi-table consequence of biological evolution.

READING LIST

Maynard Smith J and Harper D.
Animal Signals (Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution) (Paperback) Oxford University Press 2003

Lachmann M, Szamado S, Bergstrom CT.
Cost and conflict in animal signals and human language.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Nov 6;98(23):13189-94. Epub 2001 Oct 30.

Jablonka, E. & Szathm ry, E. (1995) The evolution of information storage and heredity. Trends Ecol. Evol. 10, 206-211.

Maynard Smith J and Szathmary E
The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language
(Paperback)
Oxford University Press 1999

Speakers

Department of Chemical Physics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
Ordinarius für Theoretische Chemie und Vorstand, Institut für Theoretische Chemie, Universität Wien; Präsident, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Chair
Professor and Head, Department of Plant Taxonomy and Ecology, Eötvös University, Budapest Permanent Fellow, Collegium Budapest Chair

Dr. Avshalom C. ELITZUR

Department of Chemical Physics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot

 Unit of Interdisciplinary Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
 Visiting Professor, Birla Institute of Science and Technology, Mumbai, India
 Adjunct Lecturer, Feinberg Graduate School, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
 Adjunct Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Dr. Peter SCHUSTER

Ordinarius für Theoretische Chemie und Vorstand, Institut für Theoretische Chemie, Universität Wien; Präsident, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften

1959-1967 Chemie- und Physikstudium an der Universität Wien
1968-1970 Post-Doc am Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie in Göttingen, Deutschland
seit 1973 o. Prof. für Theoretische Chemie an der Universität Wien
1991-1995 Gründungsdirektor des Instituts für Molekulare Biotechnologie in Jena, Deutschland
seit 1991 Externes Fakultätsmitglied des Santa Fe Instituts, Santa Fe, USA

Dr. Eörs SZATHMARY

Professor and Head, Department of Plant Taxonomy and Ecology, Eötvös University, Budapest Permanent Fellow, Collegium Budapest

 Studied Evolutionary Biology, Theoretical Biology at the Eötvös University, Budapest
1984-1987 Ph.D. student, Eötvös University, Budapest
1987-1988 Soros scholar, Brighton University of Sussex
1988-1991 Research Fellow, Eötvös University, Budapest
1991-1992 Research Fellow, National Institute for Medical Research, London
1992-1993 Guest Professor, University of Zürich, Schweiz
1994 Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

Seminar-Week

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