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Re:HYB:Cells and pigments


Jim, thank you for your patience with us who do rattle on in such a manner
that others in the list are left standing saying, ?What?

As to chromosomes, DNA and the mechanisms of how they work, how they are
opened up and duplicated ("replicated"), and how they work in determinining
<some> but not all the characteristics of a plant or animal, there will be an
article in the upcoming AIS Bulletin that describes this process in a fairly
compact form.  I think you will find that article interesting.

Unfortunately, this is an area where images, drawings and well-made
illustrations can convey information far more quickly than words.  I would be
delighted to share with you off-line some of what I have on hand that you may
or may not find of interest.  It is copyrighted material and I am not free to
post any of it to Iris-photos, although my hands itch at the thought!  To do
so would not only transgress against Law, but break trust.

When I was back at my undergrad school after my first stint at graduate work
(a disaster--I was in the wrong field, the wrong climate, the wrong place, and
what is worse, the wrong marriage--a recipe for a rather distressed life), I
undertook some studies in cell Biology to supplement what I had acquired
earlier in plant Taxonomy, basic Botany, and several years experience in
breeding irises, even though these studies were far afield from my primary
focus of a liberal arts education.

I was fascinated by what I encountered.  The Watson-Crick model for the double
helix DNA had only recently been published and I heard about it for the first
time--in 1964 or 5.

One of the journals I read had data about subordinate protein chains in
hemoglobin molecules.  The significant point in the article was that the
hemoglobin in the blood of a lowland Gorilla and a human were astonishingly
nearly identical--with less than a five percent difference, as I recall.

Some parts of this were described in terms of base-pair or nucleotide pair
sequences of DNA, which translate through a rather complex exchange of
information through various RNA's into amino acid sequences making up the
proteins.  What I read sailed right over my head, so I went back and read it
again more slowly.  Bit by bit the connections formed.

This was at the very beginning of what the forty years between then and now
have represented as an incredible, overwhelming revolution in how biological
phenomena may be understood.  At last, Biology had the theoretical foundation
to become an empirical science tied to physics and chemistry.

We have come a long way--and still have far to go.  Your question implies
considerably more knowledge already than I managed to acquire then.  In the
intervening years I have had a few chances to bury my nose in biological
texts, and loved the progress I observed.

Recently I have had a chance to refresh my knowledge and add to it through
some basic plus some not at all basic texts recently published.  I am again
almost overwhelmed by answers to questions hanging unaswered for many decades.
I have a feeling you are in the same position of hunger to know.

Any help I can be would be a delight.  Let me know what direction you want to
go with this via e-mail, and I will try to share in a more visual form the
information about what you ask.  Let me know your download capacity--do you
have phone line, DSL or cable connection?  It makes quite a difference on the
size, detail and image quality one might send you.

Neil Mogensen  z 7 western NC mountains

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