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The First Gene: selection for biofunction is required prior to the existence of a living organism.

David L. Abel, editor of The First Gene, offers, in an abstract of Chapter 1, “ProtoBioCybernetics?”

Cybernetics addresses control rather than mere constraints. Cybernetics incorporates Prescriptive Information (PI) into various means of steering, programming, communication, instruction, integration, organization, optimization, computation and regulation to achieve formal function. “Bio” refers to life. “Proto” refers to “first.” Thus, the scientific discipline of Proto-BioCybernetics specifically explores the often-neglected derivation through “natural process” of initial control mechanisms in the very first theoretical protocell.

Whether an RNA World, Peptide World, Lipid World, or other composomal Metabolism-First model of life-origin is pursued, selection for biofunction is required prior to the existence of a living organism. For gene emergence, selection for potential biofunction (programming at decision nodes, logic gates and configurable switch-settings) quickly becomes the central requirement for progress.

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2 Responses to The First Gene: selection for biofunction is required prior to the existence of a living organism.

  1. This is an absolutely critical area of study that has been neglected for half a century under the old “DNA makes RNA makes proteins makes us” mantra. These are definitely exciting times for any young researcher who wants to get into the growing area of bioinformatics.

  2. Just received the book. I am reading it, and it looks extremely interesting.

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