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Evolution since Coding - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128130339, 9780128130346

Evolution since Coding

1st Edition

Cradles, Halos, Barrels, and Wings

Author: Zachary Burton
Paperback ISBN: 9780128130339
eBook ISBN: 9780128130346
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 3rd August 2017
Page Count: 212
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Evolution since Coding: Cradles, Halos, Barrels, and Wings describes genesis of metabolism, transcription, translation, cell structure, eukaryotic complexity, LUCA (the last universal common (cellular) ancestor), the great divergence of archaea and bacteria, LECA (the last eukaryotic common ancestor), extinction, and cancer in very simple ways. The work (almost) "synthesizes life from scratch" (since coding) and describes the tools for readers to check the author’s work. As a result, readers understand living systems and their evolution in a conceptual way and are empowered to utilize powerful but accessible tools in computer-based biology.

The work serves as foundational reading for a variety of researchers, academics, and students in life sciences, for example in evolution/evolutionary biology, biochemistry, genetics/molecular genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and microbiology, as well as disciplines beyond biological science. Its approachable style makes the book accessible for introductory students and educated laypersons. Evolution since Coding is suitable to supplement college courses that mix computers, evolution, and biology from freshman to senior level.

Key Features

  • Provides a simple, hands-on, conceptual route to understanding ancient evolution and the diversification of life on earth
  • Offers a conceptual understanding of biology, evolution, protein structure, RNA synthesis systems, protein synthesis systems, signaling systems, genesis of the three domains, and cell structures
  • Approaches ancient evolution via code-breaking protein and RNA sequences and motifs


Researchers, academics, and students in life sciences, for example in molecular biology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, genetics/molecular genetics, epidemiology, oncology, gerontology, cell biology, and microbiology, as well as many disciplines beyond biological science; secondarily, as an auxiliary text for specific courses and seminars at colleges and universities

Table of Contents

1. Big Questions
2. What This Book Is About
3. Scientific Acronyms
4. Molecular Graphics

Section I: The Old Testament of Gene Regulation
5. Evolution as a Cutout Doll Problem I
6. Evolution as a Cutout Doll Problem II
7. The Best Art
8. Intelligent Design
9. Polymers
10. LEGO (Trademark) Life
11. α/β Proteins
12. The Inevitability of α/β Folds
13. Evolution Puts the Y (Why) in Biology
14. Evolution Is Not Anti-Religion
15. Computers in Biology
16. The Old and New Testaments of Gene Regulation
17. Evolution as a Cutout Doll Problem III
18. Multi-subunit RNA Polymerases Book I
19. Multi-Subunit RNA Polymerases Book II
20. The Chemical Synthesis of Life
21. The RNA World
22. Ribosomes
23. The RNA-Protein World
24. Transfer RNA
25. The Three Domains of Life on Earth and Scientific Working Hypotheses
26. LUCA
27. General Transcription Factors and Promoters
28. Archaea
29. Bacteria
30. Methane and Oxygen

Section II: The New Testament of Gene Regulation
31. LECA
32. Eukaryotic Multi-Subunit RNA Polymerases, General Transcription Factors and the CTD
33. Patchwork Eukaryotic Phylogenomics
34. Plants
35. The Permian-Triassic Extinction
36. The Triassic-Jurassic Extinction
37. The Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction
38. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
39. Promoter Proximal Pausing and the CTD Interactome
40. Human Evolution
41. Human Cancer
42. Homology Modeling and Cryoelectron Microscopy
43. Human Extinction
44. Evolution Versus Faith
45. Concept in Biology
46. Other Books and Studies


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2018
3rd August 2017
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Zachary Burton

Dr. Burton has been a professor at Michigan State University since 1987 and is also Director of Undergraduate Education in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as Principle Investigator of the Burton Lab at MSU. His research is on RNA polymerase mechanisms and ancient evolution of transcription and translation systems, on which he has published several papers. He is interested in the genesis, divergence, and complexity of life on Earth, told in core protein and DNA sequences.

Affiliations and Expertise

Michigan State University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, East Lansing, MI, USA

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