Monday, July 02, 2007

Watson and Crick were just the warm-up act

So much for a little escapist reading during vacation. I picked up my spouse's copy of The Economist and got sucked in by their cover story.

Yes? I thought curiously. What's new in biology? Well, dear readers who last studied biology in the '90s, it turns out A LOT IS NEW. Remember how we learned that DNA contains the "blueprint for life," its 4 amino acids sequence to code all the enzymes and hormones we need to make our bodies grow and function? Remember mitosis and myosis, those little chromosome pairs multiplying and dividing to give us gametes?

What if you're lounging on the porch overlooking Lake George and you read that they may have gotten it all* wrong? This camper suddenly felt like a Renaissance Courtier reading Copernicus's proposition that planets orbit the sun.

Imagine. Rather than just being the retriever of amino acids we've long assumed, RNA may, in fact, RUN THE SHOW.

The "selfish gene" may be little more than a red herring in the end.

What could be more exciting and mysterious?


Blogger Nevanna said...

Heresy! Blasphemy! It's not true: the universe does revolve around the Earth!

Sorry, couldn't help myself. :)

Very interesting, though.

3:23 PM  

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