The Geometry of Genetics
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Evolutionary biology has grown from the highly controversial world-view of the days of Charles Darwin, to a complex and refined theory of nature’s expression through the deep and subtle action of the genetic code. The Geometry of Genetics is an interdisciplinary monograph that presents the mathematical basis of molecular genetics, endowing evolutionary biology with a precision not before available to the subject. To make this work accessible to biologists and physical scientists alike, the authors have divided the subject into three parts, Structure, Statics, and Dynamics. Each of these parts is further subdivided into a presentation of the relevant mathematics, a description of the biological problem, and a mathematical reformulation of the biological problem. They provide, in effect, basic mathematical and biological primers for each topic covered. In the first part of the book, Statics, the authors develop some set-theoretic and linear algebraic notions, and describe the origin and evolution of the genetic code. Here they reveal the beauty of the hidden symmetries of the standard genetic code, and of their extension of genetic coding theory, the generalized genetic code. The second part of the book, Structure, expresses the basic processes of molecular genetics—replication, transcription, and translation—as operators on a certain linear space. The final part, Dynamics, realizes the action of molecular genetics as a differential geometry, within which evolutionary motions are treated as geodesics. It is here that evolutionary biology can be seen unfolding on the rich mathematical construct of a space-time manifold. This natural progression, from statics to structure and dynamics, provides a nested cohesiveness which reveals the intricate natural hierarchy of the elementary genetic code, molecular genetic action, and macromolecular evolution, which gives rise to a variety of genetic cosmologies. The Geometry of Genetics expresses the fundamental actions of evolutionary biology with a new richness and precision that should prove illuminating to biologists and physical scientists alike.