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Contents tagged “levels of organization”

There are 4 contents with the tag “levels of organization”:

  1. From physics to biology by extending criticality and symmetry breakings: An update

    From physics to biology by extending criticality and symmetry breakings: An update

    Acta Europeana Systemica


    We introduce our theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a radically different role in this discipline, by comparison with physics.

    Manuscript Citation Publisher Full text

    Abstract:

    Symmetries play a major role in physics, in particular since the work by E. Noether and H. Weyl in the first half of last century. Herein, we briefly review their role by recalling how symmetry changes allow to conceptually move from classical to relativistic and quantum physics. We then introduce our ongoing theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a radically different role in this discipline, when compared to those in current physics. By this comparison, we stress that symmetries must be understood in relation to conservation and stability properties, as represented in the theories. We posit that the dynamics of biological organisms, in their various levels of organization, are not “just” processes, but permanent (extended, in our terminology) critical transitions and, thus, symmetry changes. Within the limits of a relative structural stability (or interval of viability), qualitative variability is at the core of these transitions.

    Keywords: Coherent structures, Critical transitions, downward causation, Hidden variables, Levels of organization, Symmetries, Systems biology

    Citation:

    Longo, Giuseppe, and Maël Montévil. 2020. “From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings: An Update.” Acta Europeana Systemica 9 (1): 77–92. https://doi.org/10.14428/aes.v9i1.56043

  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Cancer Galaxy: How two critics missed their destination

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Cancer Galaxy: How two critics missed their destination

    Organisms. Journal of Biological Sciences


    Two theories aim to understand cancer: the reductionist Somatic Mutation Theory (SMT) and the organicist Tissue Organization Field Theory (TOFT).

    Manuscript Citation Publisher Full text

    Abstract:

    Two main theories aim at understanding carcinogenesis: the reductionist smt locates cancer in cancer cells, while the organicist toft locates cancer at the tissue level. For toft, the ‘cancer cell’ is a phlogiston, smt is an old paradigm which ought to be replaced. Recently two critics have argued that toft and smt, despite their apparent strong incompatibilities, are actually compatible. Here we review their arguments. We show that these arguments are based on interpretation mistakes that become understandable once one grants that criticizing a paradigm from the point of view of another, in which words do not have the same signification, bears the risk of strong misunderstandings. These misunderstandings, in our experience, are common. We hope that this discussion will help clarifying the differences between toft and smt.

    Keywords: TOFT, reductionism, organicism, levels of organization, SMT

    Citation:

    Montévil, Maël, and Arnaud Pocheville. 2017. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Cancer Galaxy: How Two Critics Missed Their Destination.” Organisms. Journal of Biological Sciences 1 (2): 37–48. https://doi.org/10.13133/2532-5876_2.9

  3. From bottom-up approaches to levels of organization and extended critical transitions

    From bottom-up approaches to levels of organization and extended critical transitions

    Frontiers in Physiology


    Critical phenomena disrupt the mathematical determination at a given level, which leads to a new perspective on levels of organization.

    Manuscript Citation Publisher Full text

    Abstract:

    Biological thinking is structured by the notion of level of organization. We will show that this notion acquires a precise meaning in critical phenomena: they disrupt, by the appearance of infinite quantities, the mathematical (possibly equational) determination at a given level, when moving at an “higher” one. As a result, their analysis cannot be called genuinely bottom-up, even though it remains upward in a restricted sense. At the same time, criticality and related phenomena are very common in biology. Because of this, we claim that bottom-up approaches are not sufficient, in principle, to capture biological phenomena. In the second part of this paper, following the work of Francis Bailly, we discuss a strong criterium of level transition. The core idea of the criterium is to start from the breaking of the symmetries and determination at a “first” level in order to “move” at the others. If biological phenomena have multiple, sustained levels of organization in this sense, then they should be interpreted as extended critical transitions.

    Keywords: bottom-up, extended criticality, levels of organization, organism, renormalization, singularity

    Citation:

    Longo, G., Maël Montévil, and A. Pocheville. 2012. “From Bottom-up Approaches to Levels of Organization and Extended Critical Transitions.” Frontiers in Physiology 3 (232). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2012.00232

  4. From physics to biology by extending criticality and symmetry breakings

    From physics to biology by extending criticality and symmetry breakings

    Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology


    Symmetries play a critical role in physics. By contrast, symmetry changes are ubiquitous for biological organisms, leading to deep theoretical consequences.

    Manuscript Citation Publisher Full text

    Abstract:

    Symmetries play a major role in physics, in particular since the work by E. Noether and H. Weyl in the first half of last century. Herein, we briefly review their role by recalling how symmetry changes allow to conceptually move from classical to relativistic and quantum physics. We then introduce our ongoing theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a radically different role in this discipline, when compared to those in current physics. By this comparison, we stress that symmetries must be understood in relation to conservation and stability properties, as represented in the theories. We posit that the dynamics of biological organisms, in their various levels of organization, are not just processes, but permanent (extended, in our terminology) critical transitions and, thus, symmetry changes. Within the limits of a relative structural stability (or interval of viability), variability is at the core of these transitions.

    Keywords: Symmetries, Systems biology, Critical transitions, Levels of organization, Hidden variables, Coherent structures, downward causation

    Citation:

    Longo, G., and Maël Montévil. 2011. “From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings.” Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 106 (2): 340–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2011.03.005

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