Evolutionary Bioinformatics

Second Edition

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) who, with Ewald Hering, saw heredity as the transfer of stored information. This self portrait is reproduced with the permission of the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge

The double-helical structure of DNA, with base A pairing with base T, and base G pairing with base C. This figure was kindly prepared for the book by  Richard R. Sinden

Erwin Chargaff (1905-2002) whose four "rules" provide the foundation for the book. This photograph is reproduced from the collection of the National Library of Medicine, Washington.

Donald R. Forsdyke

2nd Edition cover 2nd Edition cover 2nd Edition cover 2nd Edition cover 2nd Edition cover 2nd Edition cover


Published by Springer (January 2011) 

A substantial revision of the first edition (2006)


Books on bioinformatics began appearing in the mid 80s and primarily served gene-hunters, and biologists who wished to construct family trees showing tidy lines of descent. Given the great pharmaceutical industry interest in genes, this trend has continued in most subsequent texts. These deal extensively with the exciting topic of gene discovery and searching databases, but hardly consider genomes as information channels through which multiple forms and levels of information, including genic information, have passed through the generations. 

    This book identifies the types of information that genomes transmit, shows how competition between different types is resolved in the genomes of different organisms, and identifies the evolutionary forces involved. The early chapters relate the form of information with which we are most familiar, namely written texts, to the DNA text that is our genome. This lends itself well to introducing historical aspects dating back to the nineteenth century.

    Second edition revisions include expansion of the section on speciation and a new section on brain bioinformatics. All sections are substantially updated.


Note on Second Edition IX
Prologue - To Select is Not To Preserve  XIII-XXIII  
Part 1. Information and DNA    
1 Memory - A Phenomenon of Arrangement 3
2 Chargaff's First Parity Rule  27
3 Information Levels and Barriers    47
Part 2. Parity and Non-Parity  
4 Chargaff's Second Parity Rule 69
5 Stems and Loops  91
6 Chargaff's Cluster Rule  111
Part 3. Variation and Speciation  
7 Mutation  131
8 Species Survival and Arrival 153
9 The Weak Point 171
10 Chargaff's GC Rule 189
11 Homostability 205
Part 4. Conflict within Genomes  
12 Conflict Resolution 221
13 Exons and Introns  249
14 Complexity 267
Part 5. Conflict between Genomes  
15 Self/Not-Self?  295
16 The Crowded Cytosol 319
Part 6. Sex and Error-Correction  
17 Rebooting the Genome   341
18 The Fifth Letter 363
Part 7. Information and Mind  


Memory - What to Arrange and Where 377
Epilogue - To Preserve is Not To Select  391
Appendix 1 What the Graph Says     405
Appendix 2 Scoring Information Potential   411
Appendix 3 No Line? 415
Acknowledgements, References and Index 425-510

ISBN: 978-1-4419-7770-0      101 illustrations (17 in colour)      $172.00 

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For institutions with access to a Springer eBook package, students can purchase a black and white softcover edition for $24.95  

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This page was established in August 2010 and was last edited 09 Nov 2020 by D. R. Forsdyke. The double-helix figure was kindly prepared by Richard R. Sinden, adapted from his book DNA Structure and Function with the permission of the publisher. Permission to reproduce the photograph of Samuel Butler was given by the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge. The photograph of Erwin Chargaff is from the collection of the National Library of Medicine, Washington, USA.