Toward a Biology Worthy of Life > Genes and the Central Fallacy of Evolutionary Theory > Brief excerpt
A project by Stephen L. Talbott

The organism manages its own germline (2)

And, of course, there is the elaborately orchestrated “meiotic ballet” that produces both sperm and egg, each with only half the number of chromosomes found in somatic cells, and with those chromosomes reshuffled and otherwise modified according to a logic and via activities that are still largely beyond our understanding. But one thing is sure: the rearrangement (recombination) of chromosomes during meiosis is now showing itself to be highly regulated. Multiple protein-DNA complexes and epigenetic modifications function combinatorially, with synergism, antagonism, and redundancy: “The newfound multiplicity, functional redundancy and [evolutionary] conservation” of these regulatory factors “constitute a paradigm shift with broad implications. They provide compelling evidence that most meiotic recombination is, like transcription, regulated by sequence-specific protein-DNA complexes”.

Then, too, the voluminous cytoplasm of the egg cell (and, we are now learning, also the minimal cytoplasm of the sperm cell) will play vital roles in helping to direct development of the embryo at its very earliest and most sensitive stage, before the embryo’s own genes come into play. Indeed, many traits, including diseases, have been shown to be influenced powerfully by inherited cytoplasm.

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