What Do Organisms Mean?

Natural Genome Remodeling

Stephen L. Talbott

This article was written as a rather more technical (but still quite readable) “sidebar” to “Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness”, and can best be read in conjunction with that essay. Both pieces are part of a larger work in progress entitled: Toward a Biology Worthy of Life. Original publication: November 10, 2011. Date of last revision: July 9, 2012. Copyright 2011, 2012 The Nature Institute.

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In her 1983 Nobel address, geneticist Barbara McClintock cited various ways an organism responds to stress by, among other things, altering its own genomelink. “Some sensing mechanism must be present in these instances to alert the cell to imminent danger”, she said, adding that “a g