Who Needs Genomes?

Barry McMullin Tim Taylor Axel von Kamp
Dublin City University University of Abertay Dundee Dublin City University
Barry.McMullin@rince.ie tim.taylor@abertay.ac.uk Axel.vonKamp@rince.ie


Presented at
Atlantic Symposium on Computational Biology and Genome Information Systems & Technology
(March 15-17, 2001, Regal University Center, Durham, NC, USA)

Dublin City University
Research Institute for Networks and Communications Engineering
Artificial Life Laboratory
Technical Report Number: bmcm-cbgi-2001


The first detailed mechanistic models for genome based reproduction were developed by John von Neumann in the period 1948-1953 (von Neumann, 1949; Burks, 1966; von Neumann, 1948). While these models were extremely abstract, subsequent elaboration of the structure and function of DNA proved von Neumann's designs to have been strikingly prescient. However, some significant questions still remain as to the specific benefits of this particular reproductive architecture. These questions are relevant both to understanding the evolutionary emergence of such systems, and their proper role in engineered or synthetic evolutionary systems. This paper will review these issues, and present some preliminary results of novel evolutionary experiments in the Tierra system (Ray, 1992), where artificial ``organisms'' are deliberately engineered to have an evolvable genetic architecture.


Copyright © 2001 All Rights Reserved.
Timestamp: 2001-03-30