Darwin's Star: Biology's Next Great Revolution

Logo_lab_full_1Satellite-based astronomy has overthrown our most of our long-standing ideas of cosmology during the past ten years, especially those relating to the size, dynamics and composition of the universe. Similarly, the convergence of fresh theoretical ideas in evolution and the coming avalanche of genomic data will profoundly alter our understanding of the and is likely to lead to revision of concepts such as species, organism and evolution suggest Nigel Goldenfeld and Carl Woese of the University of Illinois in an article in Nature.

It's becoming clear that microrganisms have a remarkable ability to reconstruct their genomes in the face of dire environmental stresses, and that in some cases their collective interactions with viruses may be crucial to this. It seems that there is a continuity of energy flux and informational transfer from the genome up through cells, community, virosphere and environment. A defining characteristic of life is the strong dependency on flux from the environment — be it of energy, chemicals, metabolites or genes.

Link to Biology's Next Revolution