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Adrian Stencel
Jagiellonian University
  1. Rethinking hereditary relations: the reconstitutor as the evolutionary unit of heredity.Sophie J. Veigl, Javier Suárez & Adrian Stencel - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-42.
    This paper introduces the reconstitutor as a comprehensive unit of heredity within the context of evolutionary research. A reconstitutor is the structure resulting from a set of relationships between different elements or processes that are actively involved in the recreation of a specific phenotypic variant in each generation regardless of the biomolecular basis of the elements or whether they stand in a continuous line of ancestry. Firstly, we justify the necessity of introducing the reconstitutor by showing the limitations of other (...)
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  2.  71
    A part‐dependent account of biological individuality: why holobionts are individuals and ecosystems simultaneously.Javier Suárez & Adrian Stencel - 2020 - Biological Reviews.
    Given one conception of biological individuality (evolutionary, physiological, etc.), can a holobiont – that is the host + its symbiotic (mutualistic, commensalist and parasitic) microbiome – be simultaneously a biological individual and an ecological community? Herein, we support this possibility by arguing that the notion of biological individuality is part‐dependent. In our account, the individuality of a biological ensemble should not only be determined by the conception of biological individuality in use, but also by the biological characteristics of the part (...)
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  3. How Research on Microbiomes is Changing Biology: A Discussion on the Concept of the Organism.Adrian Stencel & Agnieszka M. Proszewska - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (4):603-620.
    Multicellular organisms contain numerous symbiotic microorganisms, collectively called microbiomes. Recently, microbiomic research has shown that these microorganisms are responsible for the proper functioning of many of the systems of multicellular organisms. This has inclined some scholars to argue that it is about time to reconceptualise the organism and to develop a concept that would place the greatest emphasis on the vital role of microorganisms in the life of plants and animals. We believe that, unfortunately, there is a problem with this (...)
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  4.  83
    “Microbiota, symbiosis and individuality summer school” meeting report.Isobel Ronai, Gregor P. Greslehner, Federico Boem, Judith Carlisle, Adrian Stencel, Javier Suárez, Saliha Bayir, Wiebke Bretting, Joana Formosinho, Anna C. Guerrero, William H. Morgan, Cybèle Prigot-Maurice, Salome Rodeck, Marie Vasse, Jacqueline M. Wallis & Oryan Zacks - 2020 - Microbiome 8:117.
    How does microbiota research impact our understanding of biological individuality? We summarize the interdisciplinary summer school on "Microbiota, Symbiosis and Individuality: Conceptual and Philosophical Issues" (July 2019), which was supported by a European Research Council starting grant project "Immunity, DEvelopment, and the Microbiota" (IDEM). The summer school centered around interdisciplinary group work on four facets of microbiota research: holobionts, individuality, causation, and human health. The conceptual discussion of cutting-edge empirical research provided new insights into microbiota and highlights the value of (...)
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  5. Do Somatic Cells Really Sacrifice Themselves? Why an Appeal to Coercion May be a Helpful Strategy in Explaining the Evolution of Multicellularity.Adrian Stencel & Javier Suárez - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (2):102-113.
    An understanding of the factors behind the evolution of multicellularity is one of today’s frontiers in evolutionary biology. This is because multicellular organisms are made of one subset of cells with the capacity to transmit genes to the next generation and another subset responsible for maintaining the functionality of the organism, but incapable of transmitting genes to the next generation. The question arises: why do somatic cells sacrifice their lives for the sake of germline cells? How is germ/soma separation maintained? (...)
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  6.  18
    How many ways can you die? Multiple biological deaths as a consequence of the multiple concepts of an organism.Piotr Grzegorz Nowak & Adrian Stencel - 2022 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 43 (2):127-154.
    According to the mainstream position in the bioethical definition of death debate, death is to be equated with the cessation of an organism. Given such a perspective, some bioethicists uphold the position that brain-dead patients are dead, while others claim that they are alive. Regardless of the specific opinion on the status of brain-dead patients, the mere bioethical concept of death, according to many bioethicists, has the merit of being unanimous and univocal, as well as grounded in biology. In the (...)
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  7.  7
    Do seasonal microbiome changes affect infection susceptibility, contributing to seasonal disease outbreaks?Adrian Stencel - 2021 - Bioessays 43 (1):2000148.
    The aim of the present paper is to explore whether seasonal outbreaks of infectious diseases may be linked to changes in host microbiomes. This is a very important issue, because one way to have more control over seasonal outbreaks is to understand the factors that underlie them. In this paper, I will evaluate the relevance of the microbiome as one of such factors. The paper is based on two pillars of reasoning. Firstly, on the idea that microbiomes play an important (...)
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  8.  8
    The failure of drug repurposing for COVID-19 as an effect of excessive hypothesis testing and weak mechanistic evidence.Mariusz Maziarz & Adrian Stencel - 2022 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 44 (4):1-26.
    The current strategy of searching for an effective treatment for COVID-19 relies mainly on repurposing existing therapies developed to target other diseases. Conflicting results have emerged in regard to the efficacy of several tested compounds but later results were negative. The number of conducted and ongoing trials and the urgent need for a treatment pose the risk that false-positive results will be incorrectly interpreted as evidence for treatments’ efficacy and a ground for drug approval. Our purpose is twofold. First, we (...)
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  9.  7
    Why the Evolution of Heritable Symbiosis Neither Enhances Nor Diminishes the Fitness of a Symbiont.Adrian Stencel - 2022 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 14 (4).
    One of the current problems in microbiology concerns the understanding of fitness in host-symbiont systems. A great deal of research and conceptual work has analysed how the host benefits from such associations; however, very little of this work has attempted to take the microbial perspective. Nevertheless, some scientists have argued that we should conduct more comparative studies of both microorganisms that interact with a host and their free-living counterparts in order to determine whether or not symbiosis is beneficial for these (...)
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  10.  14
    The relativity of Darwinian populations and the ecology of endosymbiosis.Adrian Stencel - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (5):619-637.
    If there is a single discipline of science calling the basic concepts of biology into question, it is without doubt microbiology. Indeed, developments in microbiology have recently forced us to rethink such fundamental concepts as the organism, individual, and genome. In this paper I show how microorganisms are changing our understanding of natural aggregations and develop the concept of a Darwinian population to embrace these discoveries. I start by showing that it is hard to set the boundaries of a Darwinian (...)
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  11.  5
    Developing a Philosophical Foundation for the Study of the Microbial Side of Symbiosis.Adrian Stencel - 2023 - Diametros 20 (77):38-50.
    Symbiotic associations have been studied extensively in recent years, focusing mainly on the potential benefits to the host. However, understanding the role played by microorganisms in the physiology and fitness of the host, an aspect of the subject that had been neglected for a long time, has now become an important goal of symbiotic studies. Among the interesting philosophical questions are the following: how should we study the impact of symbiosis on the fitness of symbiotic microorganisms? What framework should scientists (...)
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    Correction to: How many ways can you die? Multiple biological deaths as a consequence of the multiple concepts of an organism.Piotr Grzegorz Nowak & Adrian Stencel - 2023 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (1):105-106.
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  13.  10
    Samir Okasha, Agents and Goals in Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 254 pp., $40.00. [REVIEW]Adrian Stencel - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (1):6.
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