LOS ANGELES (Jan. 25, 2012) The evolutionary processes of unicellular and multicellular organisms are continually under debate. John Torday, Ph.D., a lead investigator at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed), has recently co-authored a book entitled Evolutionary Biology, Cell-Cell Communication and Complex Disease, which incorporates cell biology into evolutionary biology. Rather than focusing on multicellular organisms, the book concentrates on the cell as the smallest unit of biologic structure and function. This is the first time that evolution has been looked at from the cellular mechanistic perspective, making evolution more accessible and relevant to all of biology and medicine.
According to Dr. Torday, "Understanding evolutionary biology is key to integrating biology. To accomplish this, we need a mechanism for the process of Natural Selection that explains how novelty in vertebrate evolution is generated, how selection pressure has made wings from limbs, lungs from swim bladders, and integrated physiologic regulatory mechanisms like lipid metabolism and respiration, photoreception and circadian rhythms, water balance and erythropoiesis," said Dr. Torday. "Evolutionary-developmental biology provides an opportunity to exploit contemporary cell-molecular developmental biology, yet it has not been used effectively because we don't have an algorithm to convert genes into phenotypes. That leaves a huge gap in evolutionary biology that must be filled to provide plausible answers for how evolution has generated physiologic phenotypes. Since cells generate phenotypes from genes, this is a logical way to understanding evolution that's been 'trumped' by our zeal to reduce everything in biology to genes. Evolution, like cell biology, is a process, not a thing."
Evolutionary Biology, Cell-Cell Communication and Complex Disease is focused on the scientific evidence that unicellular organisms are the origins of metazoans, and
|Contact: Diana Soltesz|
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed)