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One of the most interesting challenges facing paleobiologists is explaining the Cambrian explosion, the dramatic appearance of most metazoan animal phyla in the Early Cambrian, and the subsequent stability of these body plans over the ensuing 530 million years. We propose that because phenotypic variation decreases through geologic time, because microRNAs(More)
Richard Goldschmidt is remembered today as one of the most controversial biologists of the twentieth century. Although his work on sex determination and physiological genetics earned him accolades from his peers, his rejection of the classical gene and his unpopular theories about evolution significantly damaged his scientific reputation. This article(More)
In this article, we consider the tension between unification and pluralism in biological theory. We begin with a consideration of historical efforts to establish a unified understanding of evolution in the neo-Darwinian synthesis. The fragmentation of the evolutionary synthesis by molecular evolution suggests the limitations of the general unificationist(More)
In 1990, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave some organisms special status as designated model organisms. This article documents publication trends for these NIH-designated model organisms over the past 40 years. We find that being designated a model organism by the NIH does not guarantee an increasing publication trend. An analysis of model and(More)
Explanations for protoplasmic streaming began with appeals to contraction in the eighteenth century and ended with appeals to contraction in the twentieth. During the intervening years, biologists proposed a diverse array of mechanisms for streaming motions. This paper focuses on the re-emergence of contraction among the molecular mechanisms proposed for(More)
  • M R Dietrich
  • 2000
During the early 20th century the diverse practices of genetics were unified by the concept of the gene. This classical gene was simultaneously a unit of structure, function, mutation, and recombination. Starting in the 1940s, however, the classical gene began to fragment. Today when we speak of a gene for some malady, a regulatory gene, a structural gene,(More)