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Life Without Genes Hardcover – 17 Jan 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (17 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002556189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002556187
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,653,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Bringing together the latest insights from genetics and cyberculture, this book contends that all life can be conceived of as information. It explores future developments in genetics, both as a consequence of Darwinian natural selection and under the influence of genetic engineering. The ideas are illustrated by writing that draws on a range of surreal examples including hypermarkets containing every toy in the universe, pufferfish that think like flies, Peter Pan-like trips through human genes and creatures that evolve in months and not millennia. It argues that the future will be dominated by biological machines evolved artificially by a process of accelerated evolution which is called "evolution compression".

From the Author

The history, structure and future of life
In the future living creatures will be constructed from first principles, much like washing machines, automobiles or telephone boxes. In order to reach this conclusion, my book 'Life Without Genes' takes the reader on a journey in which the quest is to understand the origins and nature of the very first living things.

Once we have begun to get a feel for what life actually is, and where it came from, we can begin to examine what life might be like in the future.

It becomes clear that it is possible to distinguish between the information of living things and the machinery in which that information is realized. The best analogy is perhaps between the programs (software) which are run on computers and the machines (hardware) themselves.

Living things have been designed by the indifferent process of evolution by natural selection, which is a deeply historical process. There is no reason, however, why processes of life should restrict their hardware technologies to DNA, RNA and proteins. In the future living things which utilise quite different chemical technologies, each with its own unique possibilities and constraints, may be constructed using ahistorical processes. The computational style of living things might, indeed, also be changed.

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20 August 2003
Format: Paperback
One person found this helpful
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25 April 2001
Format: Paperback
3 people found this helpful
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12 September 2003
Format: Hardcover
3 people found this helpful
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Most helpful customer reviews on 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
Reader from Brighton
5.0 out of 5 starsPublished Book Reviews For Life Without Genes
5 August 2016 - Published on
Format: Hardcover

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