Monday, January 14, 2008
More poetry. I have just discovered that Shakespeare stumbled on antagonistic pleiotropy 400 years before the rest of us. AP is the phenomenon whereby genes have multiple effects, some of which may be damaging to the organism. Ageing seems to be caused by genes turning against us once they have done their work of getting us to reproduce. In the sonnet That Time of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold, Shakespeare writes:
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.'
There you have it, antagonistic pleiotropy. I must be mad giving this stuff away for nothing. People get PhDs for less.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 3:02 pm