Genes sem proeminência: uma reavaliação dos fundamentos em Biologia

sábado, março 22, 2014

Genes without prominence: a reappraisal of the foundations of biology

Arto Annila1,2 and Keith Baverstock3⇑

- Author Affiliations

1Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, POB 64, Gustaf Hälströmin katu 2, 00560 Helsinki, Finland

2Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, POB 64, Gustaf Hälströmin katu 2, 00560 Helsinki, Finland

3Department of Environmental Science, University of Eastern Finland, POB 1627, Yliopistonranta 1, 70211 Kuopio, Finland



The sequencing of the human genome raises two intriguing questions: why has the prediction of the inheritance of common diseases from the presence of abnormal alleles proved so unrewarding in most cases and how can some 25 000 genes generate such a rich complexity evident in the human phenotype? It is proposed that light can be shed on these questions by viewing evolution and organisms as natural processes contingent on the second law of thermodynamics, equivalent to the principle of least action in its original form. Consequently, natural selection acts on variation in any mechanism that consumes energy from the environment rather than on genetic variation. According to this tenet cellular phenotype, represented by a minimum free energy attractor state comprising active gene products, has a causal role in giving rise, by a self-similar process of cell-to-cell interaction, to morphology and functionality in organisms, which, in turn, by a self-similar process entailing Darwin's proportional numbers are influencing their ecosystems. Thus, genes are merely a means of specifying polypeptides: those that serve free energy consumption in a given surroundings contribute to cellular phenotype as determined by the phenotype. In such natural processes, everything depends on everything else, and phenotypes are emergent properties of their systems.

second law of thermodynamics free energy entropy attractors epigenetics evolution

Received November 3, 2013.

Accepted January 28, 2014.

© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


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Parece que desta vez a hipótese do gene egoísta de Richard Dawkins vai para a lata de lixo da História da Ciência.