Alternative Splicing, the Gene Concept, and Evolution

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Alternative splicing allows for the production of many gene products from a single coding sequence. I introduce the concept of alternative splicing via some examples. I then discuss some current hypotheses about the explanatory role of alternative splicing, including the claim that splicing is a significant contributor to the difference in complexity between the human genome and proteosome. Hypotheses such as these bring into question our working concepts of the gene. I examine several gene concepts introduced to cope with processes such as alternative splicing. Next I introduce some hypotheses about the evolution of mechanisms alternative splicing in higher organisms. I conclude that attention to alternative splicing reveals that we adopt an attitude that developmental theorizing must inform evolutionary theorizing and vice versa
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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