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Annals Reports (1)

Edited by Edited by Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences editorial staff
Annals Reports (1)

Published: December 2013

Volume 1305

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Evolutionary Dynamics and Information Hierarchies in Biological Systems: Aspen Center for Physics Workshop. Organisms use a variety of mechanisms to store, interpret, and use information that is organized in a large and complex hierarchy from DNA sequences, to chromatin regulation, to intra/extracellular signaling, to tissue/organ organization, to the interactions between organisms and species. This Annals volume presents individual papers and a summarizing meeting report stemming from a workshop at the Aspen Center for Physics in Aspen, Colorado, organized to discuss these issues. The three themed weeks of the workshop focused on the organization of DNA into chromatin, epigenetic adaptation and host/pathogen interaction, and macroevolution. Although these areas represent a wide breadth of biological phenomena, several unifying themes emerged through workshop discussions. In particular, the differences between the simplicity of our theoretical models and the complex interactions characteristic of real physical systems were repeatedly highlighted. Workshop discussions therefore pointed to key areas where theory and observations should aim to converge as we refine our understanding of evolution.

Cracking the Neural Code: Third Annual Aspen Brain Forum. Also included in this Annals volume is a collection of papers stemming from the third annual Aspen Brain Forums. One of the greatest challenges in neuroscience today is deciphering how the activity of individual neurons and neuronal circuits gives rise to higher order cognition and behavior, including sensation, perception, memory, and attention. Papers in this volume present research from systems and computational neuroscience that is advancing our understanding of the complexities of translating neuronal activity, on the micro, meso, and macro scale, into behavior. Advances in tools, technology, imaging methods, informatics, and computational models will also be highlighted.