Beyond the Gene

we start by shifting focus from the abstract concept of the gene to that very concrete molecule with which we have become so familiar, the DNA. But we do not invoke the DNA of old—not DNA as the master molecule that embodies the secret of life, that encodes and orchestrates the dance of life, but rather the far more interesting molecule that we have come to know as DNA today. True, this DNA is no longer the only important actor in development, in heredity, or in evolution—indeed, given the passivity of the role it plays in all its interactions, it may not even be appropriate to call it an actor at all. As Elizabeth Pennini puts it, we have learned that “this molecule can’t dance without a team of choreographers”, that “it comes alive only when numerous proteins pull its ‘strings’” [10].

Beyond the Gene


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