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From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Morphogenesis book series (LECTMORPH)

Abstract

In comparison to modern physics, symmetries play a radically different role in biology.By arguing on the relation between symmetries and conservation and stability properties in physics, 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. And biological adaptivity and diversity are a consequence of it.

Keywords

  • symmetries
  • systems biology
  • critical transitions
  • levels of organization
  • coherent structures
  • downward causation
  • variability

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-35938-5_7
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Correspondence to Giuseppe Longo .

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© 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Longo, G., Montévil, M. (2014). From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings. In: Perspectives on Organisms. Lecture Notes in Morphogenesis. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35938-5_7

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