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Self-Organization in Biological Systems: (Anglais) Broché – 2 septembre 2003

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The synchronized flashing of fireflies at night. The spiraling patterns of an aggregating slime mold. The anastomosing network of army-ant trails. The coordinated movements of a school of fish. Researchers are finding in such patterns--phenomena that have fascinated naturalists for centuries--a fertile new approach to understanding biological systems: the study of self-organization. This book, a primer on self-organization in biological systems for students and other enthusiasts, introduces readers to the basic concepts and tools for studying self-organization and then examines numerous examples of self-organization in the natural world. Self-organization refers to diverse pattern formation processes in the physical and biological world, from sand grains assembling into rippled dunes to cells combining to create highly structured tissues to individual insects working to create sophisticated societies. What these diverse systems hold in common is the proximate means by which they acquire order and structure. In self-organizing systems, pattern at the global level emerges solely from interactions among lower-level components.Remarkably, even very complex structures result from the iteration of surprisingly simple behaviors performed by individuals relying on only local information. This striking conclusion suggests important lines of inquiry: To what degree is environmental rather than individual complexity responsible for group complexity? To what extent have widely differing organisms adopted similar, convergent strategies of pattern formation? How, specifically, has natural selection determined the rules governing interactions within biological systems? Broad in scope, thorough yet accessible, this book is a self-contained introduction to self-organization and complexity in biology--a field of study at the forefront of life sciences research.

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Self-organization refers to a broad range of pattern-formation processes in both physical and biological systems, such as sand grains assembling into rippled dunes (Figure 1.1), chemical reactants forming swirling spirals (Figure 1.3a), cells making up highly structured tissues, and fish joining together in schools. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 6 commentaires
48 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Real, practical studies of self-organization in biology 19 septembre 2002
Par majorka - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Many books containing theory upon theory about self-organization in the biosphere have appeared in recent years. This book could be an important catalyst towards putting more of these theories to the test. While it has long been recognized that self-organization could be important in biological systems, many of these studies are computational models only. Many are very convincing, but unless steps are taken towards verifying these models and scrutinizing their validity, it is very difficult to know whether the theories have any real value towards understanding real life.
The strenght of this book lies in its rigorous introductions to the relevant theoretical concepts in self-organization, followed up by a general debate of self-organization versus competing explanations. The book spends many chapters looking at particular natural phenomena in detail, and examines possibilities for self-organization in these. In spite of the fact that these chapters have different authors, they follow each other well. The book is unusually well put together for this kind of collection of works by multiple authors.
The majority of the case study chapters involve studies of social insects, which narrows the topic a little in comparison with the more ambitious title. Self-organization also occurs elsewhere in biology, and personally I am a little dissapointed that a wider range of case studies were not chosen for the book. This could have spawned more interest and further work in other areas of the field.
However, the book is definitely well worth reading for biologists and other scientists interested in self-organization, and represents a major step towards establishing studies of self-organization in biology as a serious field.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great book, what happened to the website? 13 octobre 2007
Par Blaine Lilly - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I strongly agree with everything the reviewer above had to say.... with one caveat. At several points in the text, the authors refer to programs that apparently were available on the web when the book first appeared. If anyone out there knows where that site migrated, you'd be doing the readers of this book a great service by letting us know.

Otherwise, this is a very interesting text, well worth it.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
great book! 23 novembre 2009
Par Adam Clark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book is a wonderful treatment of self-organization in biological systems (as per title...) The writing is extremely accessible and the case studies very illuminating. One of the great virtues of the studies in here is how careful the writers are of making hasty assumptions in modeling complex systems and self-organization. They are explicit about the limitations of each model and the assumptions built into each. I found it to be a very responsible text in a field that has been booming with publications often striding from one hasty assumption to the next.
Another property I found very valuable, as someone interested in emergence and complexity in human systems, is the description of other kinds of organizational processes that, while many may not appear in cellular slime molds, may occur more routinely in human society. For instance, one of the chapters on wasps (I believe it was on nest construction) discussed the role of stigmergy (response to work done) in the construction of nests, which would be different than the common multi-agent self-organizing processes assumed for many of the models. This further suggests the intellectually responsible methodology of the authors. Excellent book and a fun read!
Fascinating 29 mars 2015
Par Charles Murphy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A very good read. Enjoyed every chapter. No complaints!
0 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Need this for a class! 27 décembre 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Wow, it looks dense! Binding looks sturdy and the pages look to be made of thick enough paper that my scribblings wont leak through the pages!
I wish there was an e book version I ould have gotten though, my eyes are just not what they once were, and I admit to having really gotten addicted to the increase font function on computers and e readers!
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