Physiology rocks the foundations of evolutionary biology

In the May review article published by the Experimental Physiology, Prof. Noble presents his theory on the major revolution occurring in evolutionary biology, which is set to change the nature of biology and of the importance of physiology.

The “Modern Synthesis” (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-twentieth century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection. Any role of physiological function in influencing genetic inheritance was excluded. The organism became a mere carrier of the real objects of selection: its genes.

Recent studies demonstrated that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual. Molecular genetics and genome sequencing have deconstructed this unnecessarily restrictive view of evolution in a way that reintroduces physiological function and interactions with the environment as factors influencing the speed and nature of inherited change. Acquired characteristics can be inherited, and in a few but growing number of cases that inheritance has now been shown to be robust for many generations. The twenty-first century can look forward to a new synthesis that will reintegrate physiology with evolutionary biology.

This controversial, but very interesting hypothesis, was immediately highlighted in the Faculty of 1000 Prime, and it generated a wave of positive feedback.

“This article is a fascinating look at the changes currently underway in evolutionary biology. The author challenges the text book theories of evolution and points the way to a reintegration of physiology with evolutionary biology. This view is presented for a wide readership and will generate considerable discussion.” said Prof James Duffin - Integrative Physiology University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

“Prof Noble's work has always provided the theoretical motivation of the Virtual Physiological Human initiative; if his theory is correct, as I believe, the complexity involved with the investigation of life would impose computer simulations as the only practical way out” said Prof Viceconti – VPH Institute Executive Director.

If you are interested to discover more details about this fascinting theory, Prof Denis Noble has been invited to give the opening lectureof the IUPS2013 Congress, which will take place in Birmingham on Sunday 21st of July, 2013. 

  • The full article is accessible from here
  • For more information, you can watch this video



Date: 23/05/2013 | Tag: | News: 152 of 1596
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