Achivements 2010

Chance and necessity in evolution

The role of chance is a central problem in evolution. This problem was first put into focus by Jacques Monod in his famous book "Chance and Necessity" (1970). The emphasis on chance stressed by Monod was reinforced by the neutral theory (Kimura) and the nearly neutral theory (Ohta). The problem was however seen more recently in the context of the new knowledge on genomics. A neo-selectionist theory of genome evolution (Bernardi, 2007) was presented, stressing the control exerted by natural selection (especially negative or purifying selection) on the quasi-random character of mutations.

The Meeting was a debate about this topic, with an emphasis on the pioneering work by Jacques Monod (2010 was the one hundredth anniversary of his birth and the fortieth anniversary of his book).

The forthcoming publication of the contributions in Genome Biology and Evolution will give a complete panorama of the different viewpoints presented at a Meeting where most of the active investigators in the field were present.

International Workshop "Structural and functional diversity of Eukaryotic genome"

The Workshop has been organized to unite scientists from different countries and genome research disciplines in order to facilitate collaboration to investigate and understand the diversity of eukaryotic genome in the light of latest front line developments. Recent developments in regulation of gene expression opened a whole spectrum of new-born and revived mechanisms of tuning and switching the gene expression in norm and in pathology, such as RNA interference, chromatin remodeling and epigenetic phenomena. Due to swift development of new sequencing techniques during last years a large volume of genomic sequences became available, with concomitant bioinformatic analyses. Accumulating knowledge in "classical" molecular and cell biology has to be linked to the modern genomics, for the mutual benefit, towards comprehensive picture of modern biology. The workshop was aimed at outlining of strategic trends of research that would combine the first hand experience in various front line genome studies, by the topmost experts in the genomic disciplines.


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