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The Touchstone of Life: Molecular Information, Cell Communication, and the Foundations of Life

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  14 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
In The Touchstone of Life, eminent biophysicist Werner Loewenstein seeks answers to ancient riddles by applying information theory to recent discoveries in molecular biology. Taking us into a microscopic world, he lays bare an all-pervading communication network inside and between our cellsa web of extraordinary beauty, where molecular information flows in gracefully inter ...more
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Published January 7th 1999 by Oxford University Press (first published January 7th 1998)
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Chris Aldrich
Though there is a paucity of equations, particularly on the information theoretic side, Loewenstein does a fantastic job of discussing the theory and philosophy of what is going on in the overlapping fields of information theory and microbiology. (I will note that it is commonly held wisdom within publishing, particularly for books for the broader public, that the number of equations in a text is inversely proportional to the number of sales and I'm sure this is the reason for the lack of ...more
Elizabeth
A gift from my grandfather-in-law.

It's not that it's written too densely; it's that the concepts make my brain hurt. I'll come back to this sometime when I have more energy to devote to studying information theory.

Perhaps information theory would benefit from an Alice in Quantum Land-style approach.
Tamra
Apr 22, 2011 Tamra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biophysicist writing about cell communication. Author mentioned that the DNA script of our bodies would fill a whole library with more volumes than any library now in existence, and all of that fits into the nucleus of a cell.
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I feel like this book was written for me. I now feel that it is possible for me to grok biology.
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a must read for any intelligent person..
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Dr. Loewenstein was born in 1926 in Spangenberg, Germany. His family escaped Hitler’s Germany in 1939, emigrating to Chile. He had a keen interest in science and became a world-renowned biophysicist after immigrating into the United States.

Dr. Loewenstein received a B.Sc. (physics), B.Sc. (biology) in 1945, and Ph.D. (physiology) in 1950 from the University of Chile. From 1951 to 1957 he worked at
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