生命的软件

有生之年,我们总是觉得生活尽在掌握之中。根据目前公认的科学分类,数学被誉为科学皇后,也是最难领会的一门,物理、化学紧随其后,最后,才是生物。但是这种科学等级划分却有偏颇误导之嫌:因为我们现在知道生物学中所包含的数学远远超过我们的想象。

随着DNA被发现,分子论进入生命科学殿堂,生物学才得以升堂入室迈入化学领域。随后,随着人类基因图绘制计划得到认可,生物学才离数学更近了一步。

如今生命研究的标志性口号就是“系统”生物学。长久以来,研究生命自然现象和遗传现象的学者分成两大阵营:表观遗传派和一般遗传派。前者注重环境对生物体的影响,后者强调双亲与子女之间的相似性。表观遗传派的观点显然是错误的,因为上下代之间必然存在稳定性遗传因素。但是一般遗传派认同的上下代之间的遗传物质决定整个有机体的观点却与细胞无法无限分裂的理论相为矛盾。

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