Alessandro Fontana. Epigenetic Tracking: a model for all biology

Natural Sciences / Biology / Cell biology

Submitted on: Jun 10, 2012, 19:04:17

Description: "Epigenetic Tracking" is a model of systems of biological cells, able to generate arbitrary 2 or 3-dimensional cellular shapes of any kind and complexity (in terms of number of cells, number of colours, etc.) starting from a single cell. If the complexity of such structures is interpreted as a metaphor for the complexity of biological structures, we can conclude that this model has the potential to generate the complexity typical of living beings. It can be shown how the model is able to reproduce a simplified version of key biological phenomena such as development, the presence of "junk DNA", the phenomenon of ageing and the process of carcinogenesis. The model links properties and behaviour of genes and cells to properties and behaviour of the organism, describing and interpreting the said phenomena with a unified framework: for this reason, we think it can be proposed as a model for all biology. The material contained in this work is not new: the model and its implications have all been described in previous works from a computer-science point of view.

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