Press release for the 1998 AAAS Annual meeting, Philadelphia February 12-17
Session number 101.0 Thermodynamics and Information Theory in Biology
Monday February 16, 1998; 3-6pm

Molecular Information Theory

Dr. Peter K. Rogan
Dr. Thomas D. Schneider

This press release contains a glossary and pointers to background materials for Dr. Rogan's and Dr. Schneider's presentations. See for more information.

O Information theory: a mathematical theory of symbols and states and how they can be made distinct in the presence of noise. It was invented by Claude Shannon in 1948. A primer on the topic is available from

O Molecular biology: the study of living systems at the molecular level.

O Molecular information theory: the study of living systems at the molecular level by using information theory.

sequence logo

O Sequence logo: a graphical representation of the patterns at a set of genetic binding sites. The human donor splice junction sequence logo is shown here. See for more examples.

sequence walker O Sequence walker: a graphical representation of a single genetic binding site. The example given here shows the effect of a mutation that causes blindness, found by R. Allikmets and M. Dean. See ~toms/walker/movie/index.html

gumball machine

O Gumball machines: represent the packing of spheres in a high dimensional space. In communications theory, the number of distinct messages that can be sent over a communications channel depends on the power, the interfering noise and the bandwidth used. This channel capacity can be determined by counting the number of possible messages. Each gumball represents a different message, and their relative positions is the coding. In molecular information theory, each gumball represents a different state of a molecule. See and

Schneider Lab
origin: 1997 December 19
updated: 1998 January 7
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