gene replication [was Defining Memes }

Dr I Price (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 02:32:51 -0400

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 02:32:51 -0400
From: Dr I Price <>
Subject: gene replication [was Defining Memes }
To: "" <>


Thank you for
>I think you undertand wrongly, but the frase 'context' makes it =

difficult to assess. Dna in a testtube does not self-replicate. It =

needs a lot of enzymes and other things that are present in the cell. =

The trick is that genes do transcribe for this replciation themselves. Bu=
at =

time t-1 there has to be something produced so at time t replciation =

can take place. So if you take the word 'context' and say 'ok this is =

part of the context', then you understand it right, but I am not sure =

if this is what you mean.

Genes code for enzymes ( RE I will call them) doing replication at
t, given the decoding- enzymes (I will call DCE) they coded for at t-1. I=
is a cycle, and if
you remove the enzymes needed for this replication (RE) the cell will =

not show dna replciation. So DNA has no inherent structure to replicate
itself. It only replicates when RE-enzymes are ready.
These RE enzymes that are needed to replciate are coded for, but often
gene A that is being red does not code for the DCA enzyme that pro0duces
the decoding of gene a.

Is that more clear, or am I producing more confusion? <
-------------end quote--------------------

I think it is clear and I think what you say is what I would accept as
context. I simply do not know enough about genetics.

I suspect it is a question of scale. Be aware I was once a geologist so
tend to gloss over details at scales less than a few 100,000 years. I
completely, I hope, see the point about the detail. I am still though
struck by the observation that the molecular structure of the double heli=
grants it the power - given again this messy thing called context - to
replicate. The only other chemical structure I know of hypothesised to do=

this is the Cairns-Smith clay mineral hypothesis for the origin of life.
May be I am metaphysical but I am struck by by the sheer simplicity of th=
hypothesis of a secong or third level of replicator; perhaps one that can=

exploit quantum/wave frequencies a step higher than the poor old gene [se=
my correspondence with Mark Mills].

Sorry if I am drifting into geo-scalethinking and avoiding the detail.

If Price

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