The Jaina Doctrine of Karma And The Science Of Genetics ► [1.2] The Science Of Genetics ► ▪ Genetic Code - A Blue Print

Posted: 03.01.2009

The genetic code (codon) has been compared to a blue print specifying the design of the organism that provides for the mechanisms needed to "read" the code and manufacture the components of the organisms as well as specifying the procedures needed for the life processes of the finished organisms. Simple organisms are completely defined genetically. Each tiny nematode worm has exactly 958 cells. Humans on other hand, have trillions of cells and 30 to 40000 genes so the genetic code is more of a general plan. For example major blood vessels are genetically specified. Everybody has an aorta. But minor blood vessels grow where needed according to genetically defined rules.

Although all the somatic cells in an organism contain the complete code, in any given cell only a relatively few genes are active. The difference in the genes that are active determines the difference between, say, lever and brain cells. A complete gene logic determines when an where a particular gene will be "turned on". The gene logic can accommodate varying amounts of positional detail. The eye which is complex requires less genetic information. The gene logic also controls when various activities take place. Cells divide rapidly in growing organisms but do not divide in adults unless needed to replace dead or discarded cells. Cancer involves a major breakdown in the gene logic in which cells grow in both an inappropriate time. Cancer is thought to require multiple mutations, some of which can be inherited.

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