Epigenetic landscape

The epigenetic landscape is a metaphor by Waddington for the way that biotic life dynamically changes the physical landscape where the life resides. “Epigenetics” is a portmanteau of epigenesis and genetics. R. Buckminster Fuller had been greatly dinfluenced by Waddington’s concept. [google] [books]

C. H. Waddington

Conrad Hal Waddington (1905-1975) [short bio]

A Waddingtonian glossary” published in Nature (2002)
as a companion to an article, “Conrad Hal Waddington: the last Renaissance biologist?” by Jonathan M. W. Slack.


Contemporary research in epigenetics

Dr. Sui Huang, of University of Calgary and Childrens Hospital, Harvard Medical School,
is a researcher whose primary interest is a general theory of multi-cellularity. He has written about complex gene networks and the epigenetic landscape.
Believes that the epigenetic landscape is the same as what is popularly called an attractor landscape today in the genome-wide gene expression state space.

A list of current scientific articles dealing with epigenetics (or, as he calls it, bioinformatics) by Matthew Simon, who warns that it’s very difficult to find such work since bioinformatics is not presently a recognized discipline.

An Experimental Exploration of Waddington’s Epigenetic Landscape

Epigenetic landscaping: Waddington’s use of cell fate bifurcation diagrams” by Scott F. Gilbert (1991)

Blog post in Jason K. Johnson’s Robot Ecologies Lab (2007).

Review of Waddington in Usenet, circa 2002

More academic research papers and citations

For further reading

First published on February 20th, 2009 at 11:21 am