LongView Press – Academic

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Publisher of peer-reviewed, edited scientific anthologies and single-author academic books

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Coming soon from the Biological Research Division:


  The First Gene

  David L. Abel, Editor

2011,  379 pages  Paperback  ISBN: 978-0-9657988-9-1

How was the very first gene written (or programmed)?  What means did inanimate nature use to generate formal controls out of nothing but chance and necessity?  This anthology of papers deals exclusively with the derivation of biological Prescriptive Information (PI) in the very first protocells.  For life to spontaneously generate out of inanimacy, biochemical reactions must be steered down certain potentially functional pathways and into productive circuits and feedback loops.   Genetic instructions organize metabolism and reproduction.  These genetic instructions are often referred to erroneously as “Blueprints.”   Blueprints are two-dimensional pictures of three dimensional structures.  No such picture exists in the genome of cells.  Instead, genetic instructions are encoded into a sequence of tokens called codons.  The genome uses a symbol system to formally represent its instructions and recipe for how to manufacture protein molecular machines.  Genomes also integrate thousands of structures so that they all interact at the right time and place to contribute to the goal of staying alive and multiplying. 

Wise programming choices must be made at legitimate decision nodes and logic gate-settings.  Configurable switches must be set properly to integrate biological circuits.  How did inanimate nature know how to program such organization in a prebiotic world where nothing exists but matter, energy and inanimate forces (e.g., electromagnetic, gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces)?  How could these switches have been set properly using an arbitrary symbol system prior to the existence of any living organisms that the environment could have preferred?

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This is a photo of a DNA (in red) and antigen (in green). The complexity and study of genetics offers clues about how life began.


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