Sunday, 23 November 2014

DNA Is The Engine But Not The Sole Driver Of Inheritance

Genes are real but cells are complex.  Shit happens.  While genes set coding in motion, complex proteins by the thousands are folding intricately in a competitive environment.  The geometry of the folds determine the resulting chemistry.  We haven't been able to predict which way the folds will go by using DNA as the sole input.  It looks like the bustle in the cells and not just DNA can trigger the working protein shape.  The cell phenotype is the working model, not the code.  When cells divide, the new ones have the same state, the same working behaviour as the precursor.

Finnish scientists, Arto Annila and Keith Baverstock, a physicist and a chemist, describe this, beginning in paragraph six of Ricki Lewis' review.    A sample:
"The evidence clearly points to routine cellular function (apart from cell division) and regulation in somatic cells being a matter for proteins without the intervention of genes. If, for example, the dark/light rhythm changes (travel over a few time zones) then intervention involving new transcription to adjust the circadian rhythm does occur, but otherwise circadian rhythm is taken care of by protein chemistry."

ADDED:  Threespine sticklebacks, small fish found around the globe, undergo rapid evolutionary change when they move from the ocean to freshwater lakes, losing their armor and gaining more teeth in as little as 10 years. A biologist shows that this rapid change results not from mutations in functional genes, but changes in regulatory DNA.

A view of how beautiful and complex cell life really is:

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