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Thierry Bardini

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816667505

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816667505.001.0001

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Mostly Head

From Garbage to Junk DNA, or Life as a Software Problem

(p.61) Chapter 2, Mostly Head

Thierry Bardini

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter describes the changes from “garbage” to “junk” DNA in the 1960s and 1970s, and examines what junk became when it entered the realm of simulation in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It focuses on the works of Susumu Ohno, who coined the expression “junk DNA,” and Roy Britten, who pioneered the studies of potential regulatory functions buried in junk. The chapter also explains what happened to junk DNA once the field of bioinformatics was created and DNA entered the hyper real, where life became understood as a software and wetware appeared obsolete.

Keywords:   garbage, junk DNA, Susumu Ohno, Roy Britten, bioinformatics, hyper real, software, wetware

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