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Evolution: The Molecular Landscape

Cold Spring Harbor’s 74th Symposium
The Molecular Landscape
Edited by Bruce Stillman,
David Stewart, and
Jan Witkowski,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


Evolution Chapter 2 Discussion Questions

DQ 2.1

Why is the concept of “specificity” so important? How did its importance emerge?

DQ 2.2

Explain the parallels between the lysogeny of phage λ and the regulation of β-galactosidase.

DQ 2.3

What did logical arguments about the nature of the genetic code contribute to its deciphering?

DQ 2.4

Could a living organism be based on the basic principles of molecular biology that were discovered by 1965?

DQ 2.5

Why does RNA play such a ubiquitous role? HINT 2A

DQ 2.6

Explain why Crick’s Central Dogma—that “once ‘information’ has passed into protein, it cannot get out again” (p. 53)—is necessarily true.

DQ 2.7

Why did Monod write that allostery “is of such value to living beings that natural selection must have used it to the limit” (p. 56)?

DQ 2.8

Justify the statement that “up till now, only a minority of modern developments in evolutionary biology have been driven by the rise of molecular biology” (p. 60). HINT 2B

DQ 2.9

A brief classification of the various methods used in evolutionary biology is given on p. 61. Expand on this, illustrating these methods with examples from the rest of the book.

DQ 2.10

What difference has molecular biology made to our understanding of evolution? HINT 2C


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