Do genes exist?
- Do genes exist?
May 13, 2005
Although 'genes' are still thought of as the basic units of inheritance, new
research has shown that scientists themselves cannot agree on what
constitues a gene. This lack of consensus is so great that the concept of a
gene is redundant argues Dr Karola Stotz, lead researcher on the
Representing Genes project. The results from the project were announced at a
media friendly workshop organised by Egenis, the E.S.R.C. Centre for
Genomics in Society, at Exeter University on 13th May.
Prof Paul Griffiths, of the University of Queensland who also worked on the
project said " The reality of genome structure today challenges the
conventional picture of the gene in the same way that the reality of
particle physics challenges the traditional picture of matter. The
'particles' of the quantum world can lack such apparently essential features
as having mass or being in some particular place. In the same way, just
about any of the normal expectations we have when we hear the word 'gene' is
violated by some important class of DNA sequences.
Physicists changed their concept of a particle in response to the strange
world that quantum physics revealed. Just so, in the 'post-genomic' world
scientists continue to talk about 'genes' but often mean something quite at
odds with the picture of the gene found in school textbooks."
Source: ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society
Dr. Rafael Andrés Escribano
Hasting BA-8, Garden Hills Norte
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico USA 00966
787 221 5615