Chapter

Baroque Design: Gratuitous Genomic Complexity

John C. Avise

in Inside the Human Genome

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780195393439
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199775415 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393439.003.0003
Baroque Design: Gratuitous Genomic Complexity

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This chapter addresses various gratuitous complexities—inherent in the human genome—that routinely compromise personal health. These range from problems associated with split genes (wherein introns are interspersed with exons), to various complications from the Byzantine mechanisms of gene regulation and nucleic acid surveillance, to the peculiarities of genomic imprinting, to the astoundingly bizarre structure and function of mitochondrial DNA. To explain these baroque features and their oft‐deleterious health consequences, explanations from theology and philosophy are contrasted with those that emerge from the evolutionary‐genetic sciences.

Keywords: split genes; introns; exons; gene regulation; nucleic acid surveillance; genomic imprinting; mitochondrial DNA; human health

Chapter.  9370 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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