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Cell Cycle. 2004 Mar;3(3):280-5. Epub 2004 Mar 1.

A non-adaptationist perspective on evolution of genomic complexity or the continued dethroning of man.

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National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 38A, Bethesda, Maryland 20894, USA.


A new, non-adaptationist theory of evolution of genomic complexity was recently proposed by Lynch and Conery. This concept holds that increase in complexity seen in eukaryotic genomes is a 'syndrome' caused by increase in genome entropy, which is inevitably triggered by reduction of population size. Here, I discuss the definitions of genomic entropy and complexity and the evidence supporting the entropic theory of genome complexity evolution, including new observations on concordant gain and loss of genes and introns in eukaryotic genomes. I further consider the far-reaching biological and philosophical implications of this theory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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