Chapter 5 A Point for Thought: Does the Genetic System Include a Meta-Language?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter I aim to add another layer of complexity to our semiotic understanding of the genetic system and the poverty of reductionism. The issue I have chosen is the one of junk DNA. Non-codable DNA sequences were described as non-functional junk DNA. However, more and more evidence is being gathered about the different functions fulfilled by ncRNAs. In this chapter, I wish to consider ncRNAs as a part of a Meta-language. More specifically, I argue that every language or more generally, every system of signification must have a complementary meta-language (or a meta-system) for its functioning. In this context, the genetic realm is not an exception and the genetic "language" must be accompanied by a meta-language, which is (partially) materialized by the ncRNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReviving the Living
Subtitle of host publicationMeaning Making in Living Systems
EditorsLaura McNamara, Mary Meyer, Ray Patondagger, Yair Neuman
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2008

Publication series

NameStudies in Multidisciplinarity
ISSN (Print)1571-0831

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)
  • General


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