Epigenetic Principles of Evolution

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9780971074682: Epigenetic Principles of Evolution

Epigenetic Principles of Evolution is a postgenetic treatment of the problem of metazoan evolution. It presents a radically novel epigenetic theory of evolution describing epigenetic mechanisms of evolutionary changes as they arise in the process of individual development. In seven chapters of Part 1 (Epigenetic Basis of Metazoan Heredity, pp. 21-216) the author introduces the reader to the epigenetic system of heredity - a function of the integrated control system. Cabej describes the dominant role of the epigenetic system of heredity in the processes of reproductive functions (chapter 3), in gametogenesis and in the process of the deposition of parental cytoplasmic factors (=epigenetic information) in gametes (chapter 4). In chapter 5 the author shows how the epigenetic information deposited in gametes in the form of maternal cytoplasmic factors determines the early embryonic development from the zygote stage to the phylotypic stage. A detailed description of the control of the postphylotypic stage of development, especially the formation of organs and organ systems, is presented in chapter 6 (p. 139-202). An outline of the main features of the epigenetic system of heredity and its relationship with the genetic system of heredity is provided in chapter 7 (203-216). Interactions between metazoan organisms and their environment, metazoan responses (especially behavioral responses) to changes in the environment and the ontogeny as a workshop of evolutionary change are dealt with in three chapters (8-10) of Part 2 (Neural-developmental premises of evolutionary adaptation, pp. 219-281). In Part 3 (chapters 11 and 12, pp. 285-339) the author deals with the mechanisms of developmental plasticity, the so-called circumevolutionary phenomena, and reveals the essential similarity between the transgenerational developmental plasticity and evolutionary change. In Part 4, Epigenetics of Metazoan Evolution (pp. 341-623), the author deals in details with evolution of the control system (chapter 13, pp. 341-377), developmental mechanisms of evolutionary change in evolutionary modifications (chapter 14, pp. 379-501), evolution by loss/vestigialization of organs (chapter 15, pp. 501-541), evolution by reverting to ancestral structures (chapter 16, pp. 543-569). A special chapter is devoted to the role of the neural crest, a uniquely vertebrate structure of neural origin, in evolution of de novo metazoan structures. Evolutionary convergences and their evolutionary-epigenetic implications are discussed in chapter 18. Part 5 (pp.645-732) is devoted to description of epigenetic mechanisms as determinants of species formation in sympatry. For all the cases of evolution of structures and species formation described in the book, the author presents both the conventional neoDarwinian explanation and the epigenetic explanation making it possible for the reader to assess the relative explanatory power of the genetic and epigenetic explanations. The book was published in 2008 by Albanet Publishing and contains 880 pages.

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About the Author:

Nelson R. Cabej is the author of 8 books in biology and related fields. He has penned numerous scientific and popular articles. He has PhD in biology and also holds degrees in chemistry and veterinary science. Currently he is working on a book to popularize his epigenetic theory of evolution.

Review:

This book takes a stance on evolution that goes beyond natural selection and the Modern Synthesis to incorporate the emergence of new forms through epigenetic processes, which are referred to as the user of the genetic toolkit . . . Epigenetic Principles of Evolution provides a convincing, comprehensive compilation of evidence for the importance of epigenetic processes in metazoan evolution. I recommend it. --The Quarterly Review of Biology

Cabej attempts to explain the major changes in the evolutionary history of animals (novelties, reversions, losses, atavisms, and convergences), as well as animal speciation process, as the results of heritable epigenetic variations initiated in the central nervous system (CNS) during development. This is an interesting point of view, which at first sight is similar to those suggested by West-Eberhard in Developmental Plasticity and Evolution (2003), and by Jablonka and Lamb in Evolution in Four Dimensions (2005) . . . I believe that Cabej is right in arguing that the evolution of the nervous system significantly altered and accelerated metazoan evolution. His focus of the evolution of the neuron and the first nervous systems from a primitive neuro-endocrine system is interesting neuro-endocrine system is interesting and deserves to be given an important place in evolutionary studies . . . Epigenetic Principles of Evolution . . . covers a very wide area and provides a host of useful examples arguing convincingly that the nervous system has a central role in animal evolution. --BioEssays

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Nelson R. Cabej
Published by Albanet Publishing (2008)
ISBN 10: 0971074682 ISBN 13: 9780971074682
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Book Description Albanet Publishing, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0971074682

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