Toward a Biology Worthy of Life > Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness > Brief excerpt
A project by Stephen L. Talbott

Mutations and gene regulation networks

And regardless of the source of mutation, or genetic change, one cannot ignore the explosively growing literature on how genes actually function within gene regulation networks. A mutation is subject not only to elaborate processes that repair, modify, or ignore the mutation, but also to regulatory networks that respond to the mutated gene according to the logic of the larger need. You will recall from a previous article how an organic context can retain a certain stable character in the face of relatively wide-ranging variations or disturbances in its lower-level constituent processes. Molecular biologists have discovered in studies with a number of organisms, including mice, that “knocking out” (disabling or mutating) both copies of a gene with important functions can in many circumstances leave the organism seemingly unimpaired and functioning normally (Barbaric et al. 2007).

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