Questions tagged [information-theory]

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Information density of sight vs hearing

Is human sight more information dense than hearing? Is there a way to estimate the information density of these senses?
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31 views

How did the molecular machinery for recombination originate?

I'm wondering about the origins of genetic recombination. During crossover new chromosomes are created. They have different allele combinations from the original two chromosomes. This process allows ...
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1answer
49 views

How to determine the number of parameters in a phylogenetic model?

I want to calculate the AIC for a phylogeny that I inferred via maximum likelihood. To calculate the AIC I need to know the number of parameters in the model. But how do I determine this?
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Why the genome is divided into several chromosomes and not just a single big chromosome?

In many eukaryote species, there are several chromosomes. In humans, for example, there are 23 pairs of chromosomes. Why are there several chromosomes and not just a join of all chromosomes into a ...
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Does evolution violate the data processing inequality? [closed]

The data processing inequality (DPI) states that if $X\rightarrow Y \rightarrow Z$ is a Markov process, then $I(X;Y) \geq I(X;Z)$. We can think of $X$ as a random variable representing some complex ...
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Pearson correlation of neural responses with it's linear estimation

I am trying to anderstand the following fact from this article (page 13): How can single neurons predict behavior Suppose I have a linear estimation of a stimulus: $ \hat{s} = \mathbf{w}^T(\mathbf{r} ...
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1answer
303 views

Are there any theories using thermodynamics/statistical mechanics or information theory principles to modelling in ecology?

So far, I've only known one: the MaxEnt theory. It uses the maximum information entropy developed by information theorist, which in turn inspired by the thermodynamics from physics, to predict the ...
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909 views

Why does Nature use a 4-level system to encode information in DNA?

First, I am not a biologist, so this question might be naive: Computer information processing and storage is based on 2-digit system of bits with values 0 and 1. Now, DNA stores the information in a ...
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3answers
1k views

What has caused life to choose this unfathomably tiny subset of all possible proteins?

I wonder why life uses the particular proteins that it does, about 10^6 different proteins, I think? Evolution cannot explain it because the number of possible proteins is far far too large to ever ...
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52 views

Is emergence connected to nature's transition between fractal regimes at different size scales?

A fractal algorithm like Mandelbrot is self-similar in all size scales. This is not the case in nature. A tree is fractal in the sense that each branch is similar to the tree as a whole. But that is ...
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2answers
119 views

Are there more true codes found in biology besides the central dogma?

I know each element of the central dogma is a code in the mathematical sense of finite-state machines. That is, DNA is transcribed into RNA, and RNA into proteins. What other examples are there of ...
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14k views

Why is mRNA needed in the Protein translation?

The original question was to predict the basic requirements for information storage. Then the discussion moved to why is it necessary to include mRNA in the protein translation process. Why can't ...
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Why and how does complexity usually tend to increase through time?

The question of complexity is classic in the very first lectures of evolutionary biology where the teacher usually tries to tell the students that complexity does not necessarily increase and that ...
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Could sex alone drive complexity?

Imagine that complexity is measured by a positive number $f_n$. If one has no prior knowledge about the positive number $f_n$ then from Bayesian theory one can assign $\log f_n$ an "improper" uniform ...
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122 views

Is there a way to measure the amount of bytes that are possible to encode in a DNA molecule?

When I saw a DNA molecule for the first time, it kinda reminded me of a hard drive. It consists of slots and there are some possible combinations for each slot; in the hard drive these possible ...