The Music of Life: Biology Beyond the Genome

Front Cover
The gene's eye view of life, proposed in Richard Dawkins acclaimed bestseller The Selfish Gene, sees living bodies as mere vehicles for the replication of genetic codes. But in The Music of Life, world renowned physiologist Denis Noble argues that, to truly understand life, we must look beyond the "selfish gene" to consider life on a much wider variety of levels.
Life, Noble asserts, is a kind of music, a symphonic interplay between genes, cells, organs, body, and environment. He weaves this musical metaphor throughout this personal and deeply lyrical work, illuminating ideas that might otherwise be daunting to non-scientists. In elegant prose, Noble sets out a cutting-edge alternative to the gene's eye view, offering a radical switch of perception in which genes are seen as prisoners and the organism itself is a complex system of many interacting levels. In his more expansive view, life emerges as a process, the ebb and flow of activity in an intricate web of connections. He introduces readers to the realm of systems biology, a field that has been growing in strength in the past decade. Noble, himself one of the founders of this field, argues modern systems biology may be the view we need to adopt to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of life.
Drawing on his experiences in his research on the heartbeat, and on evolutionary biology, development, medicine, philosophy, linguistics, and Chinese culture, Noble presents us with a profound and very modern reflection on the nature of life.
 

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User Review  - Lapsus16 - LibraryThing

Dr. Noble is one of the most creative physiologists of our time, and not surprisingly he decided to put an end to the endless "DNA craze" affecting scientists and media alike. In an era where ... Read full review

Contents

the Genome
1
2 The Organ of 30000 Pipes
23
is it Written Down?
33
Downward Causation
42
the Heartbeat and other Rhythms
55
Organs and Systems of the Body
74
Cellular Harmony
88
Evolution
101
the Brain
113
the Artist Disappears
135
Bibliography
144
Index
147
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About the author (2006)


Denis Noble is Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology at the University of Oxford. He was Chairman of the International Union of Physiological Sciences World Congress in 1993, and Secretary-General of IUPS from 1993-2001.

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