Great ideas of biology

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Sir Paul Nurse shares his thoughts on what he believes are 5 great ideas of biology.

Three of the great ideas of biology are the gene theory, the theory of evolution by natural selection, and the proposal that the cell is the fundamental unit of life. When considering the question of what is life, these ideas come together, because the special way cells reproduce provides the conditions by which natural selection takes place, allowing living organisms to evolve. A fourth idea is that the organisation of chemistry within the cell provides explanations for life’s phenomena. A new idea is the central role that information management plays in generating biological organisation.


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