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Cuicuilco

Print version ISSN 0185-1659

Abstract

SALZANO, Francisco M.. Evolution, the Key to Understand Life: Recent Research from Latin America. Cuicuilco [online]. 2013, vol.20, n.58, pp.277-289. ISSN 0185-1659.

The world view in the Dark (Middle Ages) could not be more monotonous. The world would have been created by a divine entity in a fixed version, and divergent opinions would be considered a heresy and subjected to strong opposition by the church. Everything changed with the publication in 1859 of Charles Darwin's seminal work The Origin of Species. Nature was not created to serve us; instead, the human species was just one in a multitude of other biological entities. To this Darwinian revolution others followed in the ensuing one and a half century, involving: a) The Modern synthesis, b) elucidation of the structure of the genetic material, c) techniques of DNA manipulation, and d) bioinformatics and nanotechnology. The half-a-century investigations of our group followed these changes, and examples of some of the most recent will be described, involving: 1. comparisons between archaic and modern genomes, 2. genomic approaches to Amerindian history, and 3. gene-culture interactions involving specific traits. Molecular and bioinformatic techniques are allowing us to have a detailed view of our past, better understanding of our present, and conditions to better predict our future.

Keywords : Evolution; Darwin; DNA; genomes; Amerindian genetics; biology and culture.

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