Reflexiones sobre ciencia, economía, ecología, política y comportamiento humano
En la red
Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons.
Pedro J. Hernández
In fact, I can’t even make the easy linguistic transition from blaming my genes to blaming my whole DNA, because it’s not just about DNA anymore. It’s also about DNA’s chemical cousin RNA, doing complicated things it wasn’t supposed to do. Not long ago, RNA was seen as a bureaucrat, the middle molecule between a gene and a protein, as exemplified by the tidy aphorism, “DNA makes RNA makes protein.” Now we find cases of short clips of RNA acting like DNA, transmitting genetic secrets to the next generation directly, without bothering to ask permission. We find cases of RNA acting like a protein, catalyzing chemical reactions, pushing other molecules around or tearing them down. RNA is like the vice presidency: it’s executive, it’s legislative, it’s furtive.
For many scientists, the increasingly baroque portrait of the genome that their latest research has revealed, along with the muddying of molecular categories, is to be expected. “It’s the normal process of doing science,” said Jonathan R. Beckwith of Harvard Medical School. “You start off simple and you develop complexity.” Nor are researchers disturbed by any linguistic turbulence that may arise, any confusion over what they mean when they talk about genes. “Geneticists happily abuse ‘gene’ to mean many things in many settings,” said Eric S. Lander of the Broad Institute. “This can be a source of enormous consternation to onlookers who want to understand the conversation, but geneticists aren’t bothered.”
The big insight is that genes are the agents of nurture as well as nature. Experience is a huge part of a developing human brain, the human mind, and a human organism. We need to develop in a social world and get things in from the outside. It's enormously important to the development of human nature. You can't describe human nature without it. But that process is itself genetic, in the sense that there are genes in there designed to get the experience out of the world and into the organism.
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Yo no haría mucho caso a Ridley en este tema de genes y ambiente. Comete un error de concepto gordo sobre la heredabilidad, por ejemplo, en su libro "Genoma".
Es difícil sintetizarlo en una sola línea, pero la definición 2 te parece estrambótica porque lo es. Sobre todo cuando debería decir intercambiables, no elementales. O mejor partículas elementales del genoma intercambiables entre especies. Es la definición de pangen De Vries en definitiva.