James Shapiro: Genome is a read-write system, not a read-only system
|September 6, 2013||Posted by News under Genomics, News|
“How life changes itself: The Read–Write (RW) genome” in Physics of Life Reviews:
The genome has traditionally been treated as a Read-Only Memory (ROM) subject to change by copying errors and accidents. In this review, I propose that we need to change that perspective and understand the genome as an intricately formatted Read–Write (RW) data storage system constantly subject to cellular modifications and inscriptions. Cells operate under changing conditions and are continually modifying themselves by genome inscriptions. These inscriptions occur over three distinct time-scales (cell reproduction, multicellular development and evolutionary change) and involve a variety of different processes at each time scale (forming nucleoprotein complexes, epigenetic formatting and changes in DNA sequence structure). Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
No surprise that Darwin’s boys don’t like Shapiro.
Question: Most Darwinian propaganda is decades-old, in the sense that it assumes concepts like the Central Dogma, the selfish gene, and (when evidence fails) ghost lineages. Will they be able to update these concepts in order to defend their thesis intellectually? Or must they continue to rely on persecution and concealment of problems?