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Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28622938/american-palaeontology-and-the-reception-of-darwinism
#1
Peter J Bowler
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 13, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28595040/the-kantian-principle-for-natural-history-and-its-historical-significance
#2
Andrea Gambarotto
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 5, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28511068/biotechnology-and-the-transformation-of-vaccine-innovation-the-case-of-the-hepatitis-b-vaccines-1968-2000
#3
Farah Huzair, Steve Sturdy
The approval, from 1986, of a series of recombinant hepatitis B vaccines was a landmark both in the growth of biotechnology and in the development of the vaccine innovation system. In this paper, we show how the early development of the hepatitis B vaccines was shaped by a political and economic context that newly favoured commercialisation of academic research, including the appropriation and management of intellectual property; we elucidate the contingent interests and motivations that led new biotechnology companies and established pharmaceutical businesses to invest in developing recombinant vaccines specifically against hepatitis B; and we show how these and other factors combined to make those vaccines an unexpected commercial success...
May 13, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28499176/brain-networks-structural-realism-and-local-approaches-to-the-scientific-realism-debate
#4
Karen Yan, Jonathon Hricko
We examine recent work in cognitive neuroscience that investigates brain networks. Brain networks are characterized by the ways in which brain regions are functionally and anatomically connected to one another. Cognitive neuroscientists use various noninvasive techniques (e.g., fMRI) to investigate these networks. They represent them formally as graphs. And they use various graph theoretic techniques to analyze them further. We distinguish between knowledge of the graph theoretic structure of such networks (structural knowledge) and knowledge of what instantiates that structure (nonstructural knowledge)...
May 9, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28433875/framing-causal-questions-about-the-past-the-cambrian-explosion-as-case-study
#5
Greg Priest
About 540 million years ago, a rapid radiation of animal phyla radically changed the Earth's biota in a geological eye-blink. What caused this "Cambrian explosion"? Over the years, paleontologists have pointed to a wide array of different physical mechanisms as the causal "trigger" for the explosion. More recently, some paleontologists have proposed complex causal pathways to which multiple physical mechanisms are said to have contributed. Despite their variety, these answers share an assumption that a single explanation can in principle be constructed that identifies some factor or confluence of factors as the cause of the Cambrian explosion...
April 20, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28426986/schr%C3%A3-dinger-s-code-script-not-a-genetic-cipher-but-a-code-of-development
#6
A E Walsby, M J S Hodge
In his book What is Life? Erwin Schrödinger coined the term 'code-script', thought by some to be the first published suggestion of a hereditary code and perhaps a forerunner of the genetic code. The etymology of 'code' suggests three meanings relevant to 'code-script which we distinguish as 'cipher-code', 'word-code' and 'rule-code'. Cipher-codes and word-codes entail translation of one set of characters into another. The genetic code comprises not one but two cipher-codes: the first is the DNA 'base-pairing cipher'; the second is the 'nucleotide-amino-acid cipher', which involves the translation of DNA base sequences into amino-acid sequences...
April 17, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28410500/cancer-is-a-propagandist
#7
Giamila Fantuzzi
Communication among cells (also known as cross-talk) plays a prominent role in the current knowledge of the pathophysiology of cancer and of cancer-associated conditions such as paraneoplastic syndromes and cachexia that are responsible for much of cancer's morbidity and mortality. Yet, biomedical scientists lack an explicit unifying frame that places this exchange of molecular information at the core of their understanding of cancer as a systemic disease. Propaganda is a type of information that aims at misleading, a form of communication intended primarily to serve the messenger...
April 11, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28384624/the-wild-type-as-concept-and-in-experimental-practice-a-history-of-its-role-in-classical-genetics-and-evolutionary-theory
#8
Tarquin Holmes
Wild types in genetics are specialised strains of laboratory experimental organism which principally serve as standards against which variation is measured. As selectively inbred lineages highly isolated from ancestral wild populations, there appears to be little wild or typical about them. I will nonetheless argue that they have historically been successfully used as stand-ins for nature, allowing knowledge produced in the laboratory to be extrapolated to the natural world. In this paper, I will explore the 19th century origins of the wild type concept, the theoretical and experimental innovations which allowed concepts and organisms to move from wild nature to laboratory domestication c...
April 3, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28377086/differentiating-and-defusing-theoretical-ecology-s-criticisms-a-rejoinder-to-sagoff-s-reply-to-donhauser-2016
#9
Justin Donhauser
In a (2016) paper in this journal, I defuse allegations that theoretical ecological research is problematic because it relies on teleological metaphysical assumptions. Mark Sagoff offers a formal reply. In it, he concedes that I succeeded in establishing that ecologists abandoned robust teleological views long ago and that they use teleological characterizations as metaphors that aid in developing mechanistic explanations of ecological phenomena. Yet, he contends that I did not give enduring criticisms of theoretical ecology a fair shake in my paper...
April 1, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28412578/communicating-with-scientific-graphics-a-descriptive-inquiry-into-non-ideal-normativity
#10
Benjamin Sheredos
Scientists' graphical practices have recently become a target of inquiry in the philosophy of science, and in the cognitive sciences. Here I supplement our understanding of graphical practices via a case study of how researchers crafted the graphics for scientific publication in the field of circadian biology. The case highlights social aspects of graphical production which have gone understudied - especially concerning the negotiation of publication. I argue that it also supports a challenge to the claim that empirically-informed "cognitive design principles" offer an apt understanding of the norms of success which govern good scientific graphic design to communicate data and hypotheses to other experts...
June 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28366722/theoretical-ecology-has-never-been-etiological-a-reply-to-donhauser
#11
Mark Sagoff
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 30, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28292691/models-theory-structure-and-mechanisms-in-biochemistry-the-case-of-allosterism
#12
Karina Alleva, José Díez, Lucia Federico
From the perspective of the new mechanistic philosophy, it has been argued that explanatory causal mechanisms in some special sciences such as biochemistry and neurobiology cannot be captured by any useful notion of theory, or at least by any standard notion. The goal of this paper is to show that a model-theoretic notion of theory, and in particular the structuralist notion of a theory-net already applied to other unified explanatory theories, adequately suits the MWC allosteric mechanism explanatory set-up...
March 11, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28285083/gould-on-species-metaphysics-and-macroevolution-a-critical-appraisal
#13
Sandy C Boucher
Stephen Jay Gould's views on the ontology of species were an important plank of his revisionist program in evolutionary theory. In this paper I cast a critical eye over those views. I focus on three central aspects of Gould's views on species: the relation between the Darwinian and the metaphysical notions of individuality, the relation between the ontology of species and macroevolution, and the issue of contextualism and conventionalism about the metaphysics of species.
March 8, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28222354/modelling-with-words-narrative-and-natural-selection
#14
Dominic K Dimech
I argue that verbal models should be included in a philosophical account of the scientific practice of modelling. Weisberg (2013) has directly opposed this thesis on the grounds that verbal structures, if they are used in science, only merely describe models. I look at examples from Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) of verbally constructed narratives that I claim model the general phenomenon of evolution by natural selection. In each of the cases I look at, a particular scenario is described that involves at least some fictitious elements but represents the salient causal components of natural selection...
February 18, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28196347/disentangling-life-darwin-selectionism-and-the-postgenomic-return-of-the-environment
#15
Maurizio Meloni
In this paper, I analyze the disruptive impact of Darwinian selectionism for the century-long tradition in which the environment had a direct causative role in shaping an organism's traits. In the case of humans, the surrounding environment often determined not only the physical, but also the mental and moral features of individuals and whole populations. With its apparatus of indirect effects, random variations, and a much less harmonious view of nature and adaptation, Darwinian selectionism severed the deep imbrication of organism and milieu posited by these traditional environmentalist models...
February 11, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28188111/on-ideals-of-objectivity-judgments-and-bias-in-medical-research-a-comment-on-stegenga
#16
Saana Jukola
By using Stegenga's article Is meta-analysis the platinum standard of evidence as a case study, this paper shows how different notions of objectivity can affect discussions concerning medical research. I argue that the ideal of objectivity that underlies Stegenga's article is both unattainable in practice and insufficient and unnecessary in principle to capture some of the ways in which biases may enter medical knowledge production.
February 7, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28039775/animal-extrapolation-in-preclinical-studies-an-analysis-of-the-tragic-case-of-tgn1412
#17
Maël Lemoine
According to the received view, the transportation view, animal extrapolation consists in inductive prediction of the outcome of a mechanism in a target, based on an analogical mechanism in a model. Through an analysis of the failure of preclinical studies of TGN1412, an innovative drug, to predict the tragic consequences of its first-in-man trial in 2006, the received view is challenged by a proposed view of animal extrapolation, the chimera view. According to this view, animal extrapolation is based on a hypothesis about how human organisms work, supported by the amalgamation of results drawn from various experimental organisms, and only predicting the 'predictive grid', that is, a global framework of the effects to be expected...
February 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28024174/biology-meets-physics-reductionism-and-multi-scale-modeling-of-morphogenesis
#18
Sara Green, Robert Batterman
A common reductionist assumption is that macro-scale behaviors can be described "bottom-up" if only sufficient details about lower-scale processes are available. The view that an "ideal" or "fundamental" physics would be sufficient to explain all macro-scale phenomena has been met with criticism from philosophers of biology. Specifically, scholars have pointed to the impossibility of deducing biological explanations from physical ones, and to the irreducible nature of distinctively biological processes such as gene regulation and evolution...
February 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27951454/kamikazes-and-cultural-evolution
#19
Sean Allen-Hermanson
Is cultural evolution needed to explain altruistic selfsacrifice? Some contend that cultural traits (e.g. beliefs, behaviors, and for some "memes") replicate according to selection processes that have "floated free" from biology. One test case is the example of suicide kamikaze attacks in wartime Japan. Standard biological mechanisms-such as reciprocal altruism and kin selection-might not seem to apply here: The suicide pilots did not act on the expectation that others would reciprocate, and they were supposedly sacrificing themselves for country and emperor, not close relatives...
February 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27907853/sewall-wright-shifting-balance-theory-and-the-hardening-of-the-modern-synthesis
#20
Yoichi Ishida
The period between the 1940s and 1960s saw the hardening of the modern synthesis in evolutionary biology. Gould and Provine argue that Wright's shifting balance theory of evolution hardened during this period. But their account does not do justice to Wright, who always regarded selection as acting together with drift. This paper presents a more adequate account of the development of Wright's shifting balance theory, paying particular attention to his application of the theory to the geographical distribution of flower color dimorphism in Linanthus parryae...
February 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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