By Enrico Coen
How is a tiny fertilised egg in a position to flip itself right into a man or woman? How can an acorn rework itself into an oak tree? over the last 20 years there was a revolution in biology. For the 1st time we have now started to appreciate how organisms make themselves. The artwork of Genes supplies an account of those new and intriguing findings, and in their broader value for a way we view ourselves. via a hugely unique synthesis of technology and paintings, Enrico Coen vividly describes this revolution in our figuring out of the way crops and animals boost.
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Extra resources for The Art of Genes
Of course, there is still the issue of open-endedness: the extent to which the development of organisms is more highly circumscribed than painting a picture. I shall eventually return to this problem later on in the book when I have further clarified what is going on during development. From DNA to organism To unravel the problem of development, we will need to understand more about the DNA language: how the sequence of bases in the DNA molecule is related to the organism that eventually develops from a fertilised egg.
Surely this showed that the different organs of a flower were interconvertible and so fundamentally equivalent. If this conclusion was granted, then the obvious similarity between foliage leaves and at least some of the flower organs (sepals and petals) indicated that all of the organs of a plant should be lumped into the same equivalence group. The various parts of a flower were equivalent to each other and to other types of leaves; they were all variations on a common theme. As further confirmation of this idea, Goethe cited abnormal roses which, instead of sex organs, had an entire shoot emerging from their centre, bearing petals and leaves (Fig.
Unlike these fakes, however, the boundary between male and female parts in naturally occurring gynanders does not go straight up the midline but wanders over to varying extents from one side to the other. Fig. 3 The insect on the left is a gynander of the s olitary wasp Pseudomethora canadensis, with a female left half (red and wingless) a nd a male right half (black and winged). Th e specimen on the right is a gynander of the butterfly Papilio dardanus with the left h alf female and the right half male.