Revisiting the central dogma in the 21st century

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Oct;1178:6-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04990.x.


Since the elaboration of the central dogma of molecular biology, our understanding of cell function and genome action has benefited from many radical discoveries. The discoveries relate to interactive multimolecular execution of cell processes, the modular organization of macromolecules and genomes, the hierarchical operation of cellular control regimes, and the realization that genetic change fundamentally results from DNA biochemistry. These discoveries contradict atomistic pre-DNA ideas of genome organization and violate the central dogma at multiple points. In place of the earlier mechanistic understanding of genomics, molecular biology has led us to an informatic perspective on the role of the genome. The informatic viewpoint points towards the development of novel concepts about cellular cognition, molecular representations of physiological states, genome system architecture, and the algorithmic nature of genome expression and genome restructuring in evolution.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genome*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Biology


  • DNA Transposable Elements