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The Delphic Boat: What Genomes Tell Us
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674009304, Hardcover)The oracle at Delphi posed a question conerning a boat: if, in time, every plank has rotted and been replaced, is the boat the same boat? Yes, the owner will say, the vessel is not its planks but the relationship among them. Similarly, Antoine Danchin argues in this provocative book, life itself is not revealed just by its components - DNA, ribosomes, genes, cells - but also by their relationships. By the end of 2001, almost 500 genome programs were completed or under way. Drawing upon what researchers worldwide are learning from the gene sequences of bacteria, plants, fungi, fruit flies, worms and humans, Danchin shows us how genomes are far more than mere collections of genes. They are the means of transmitting the system of relationships making up a living cell from one generation to the next. Genomes are codes that govern the construction, operation and survival of cells. "The Delphic Boat" shows us that life is both a complicated piece of chemical machinery that decodes genomes and a process that builds this machinery. The laws of physics or chemistry can only predict so much of this process. To truly understand life, we must understand spatial and temporal relationships between molecules that make up the cell, and how these molecules are coordinated. Danchin persuades us that if we can reach this level of understanding of genomes, we will be able to resolve the major biological puzzle of the 21st century: the enigma of the living machine that creates the living machine.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:55 -0400)
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