04w43:3 Life Molecular

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 43 number 3 (life molecular )


Human Gene Total Falls Below 25,000 | Nicholas Wade
“Coincidentally, French researchers are reporting in the same issue of Nature that they have decoded the genome of a biologically important fish, the spotted green pufferfish. They say it has 20,000 to 25,000 genes, the identical range now estimated for humans. How can it be that humans, seen by some as the apotheosis of creation, have the same numb er of genes? The question is the more pressing because genes are subject to a rigorous ‘use it or lose it’ rule. Those not vital to an organism are quickly rendered useless by mutations. Also, the human brain seems particularly dependent on genetic complexity, because about half of all human genes are active in brain tissue.”

How do you persist when your molecules don’t? | John McCrone
“Do you know the half-life of a microtubule, the protein filaments that form the internal scaffolding a cell? Just ten minutes. That’s an average of ten minutes between assembly and destruction. Now the brain is supposed to be some sort of computer. It is an intricate network of some 1,000 trillion synaptic connections, each of these synapses having been lovingly crafted by experience to have a particular shape, a particular neurochemistry. It is of course the information represented at these junctions that makes us who we are. But how the heck do these synapses retain a stable identity when the chemistry of cells is almost on the boil, with large molecules falling apart nearly as soon as they are made?”

The Hidden Genetic Program of Complex Organisms | John S. Mattick
PDF File 518K

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emailed by Timothy on Saturday 23 October 2004 @ 6:55 PM

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