IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

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


More information about the Mol-evol mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net