Bioinformatics and Consciousness

Traditionally bioinformatics attempted to explain the living phenomenon in terms of information contained in genes and its integration with the whole cell and environment [1]. Much work in the field has been merely modeling biological information. Shannon's concept of information deals with only probabilities [2]. Yet living information must deal with additional requirements like understanding and cognition [3]. Human genome project has further contributed to the field by yielding many surprises. It has stressed the importance of functionality of genes as dynamic structures with epi-genetic and extra-genomic contributions. Genes do not exist as fixed entities [4]. With the recognition of cognitive control of bio-informatics, the problem becomes integrated with other well known problems of biology leading to a search for describing informatics additionally in terms of semantics. Contributors are invited to submit their views and papers to discuss this topic from perspectives of biology, informatics, mathematics, semiotics and semantics.

References:

[1] Shannon, C.E., 'A Mathematical Theory of Communication', The Bell System Technical Journal, Vol. 27, 379–423, 623–656, (1948).

[2] Yockey, H. P., Information theory, evolution, and the origin of life, Cambridge University Press, New York, U. S. A., (2005).

[3] Biro, J. C., Biological Information—Definitions from a Biological Perspective, Information, 2, 117-139, (2011).

[4] The ENCODE Project Consortium. 2007. Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project. Nature, Jun, 14, Vol. 447(7146), 799–816, (2007).



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