The word 'gene' is quite ambiguous, hardly worth even using

Larry Moran lamoran at bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca
Sat Sep 13 16:17:47 EST 2003

On 12 Sep 2003 21:46:20 +0100,
RobertMaas at YahooGroups.Com <RobertMaas at YahooGroups.Com> wrote:

> For many months, several years I believe, I've advocated mapping
> genomes completely (that part already done for a dozen species and in
> the works for a dozen more and then more being planned) and then
> matching every segment of DNA without regard to supposed boundaries of
> genes or codons etc., to thereby get a true picture of the evolutionary
> history of DNA without the bias of preconceived ideas of genes etc.
> Then a few days ago, while catching up with back issues of SCIENCE, in
> the issue of 2003.Jul.04, on page 53, I found this wonderful quote:
> "Given the intricacies of RNA editing, complex regulatory networks,
> genetic redundancy, and molecular pathways, it is meaningless to
> identify any one concrete matural object as the gene." Although that
> sounds extreme, I believe it's the right way of thinking. Comments?

It's a stupid way of thinking. I define a gene as a DNA sequence
that is transcribed. (There are a few exceptions to this definition
but it works very well.) RNA editing and the rest don't have any
effect on my ability to recognize what I define as a gene.

You can try as many different definitions as you like but I think
I'll stick with one that works, thank-you very much.

Larry Moran


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