12 Jan '15 19:26>
The selfish ribosome model closes a big theoretical gap between, on the one hand, the simple biological molecules that can form on mud flats, oceanic thermal vents or via lightning, and on the other hand LUCA, or the Last Universal Common Ancestor, a single-celled organism.
Dr. Meredith Root-Bernstein adds: "Maybe the selfish ribosome puts a new spin on feeling kinship with other creatures. We are all just different kinds of homes to the ribosomes!"
I've always been opposed to comparing organisms and their genes with things that has purpose (think of white blood cells as little soldiers attacking invaders, or DNA like a program that can rewrite itself, or to think an organism has evolved a given trait for a specific purpose). Mostly because it seems to confuse some, but also because it's just wrong, and it doesn't seem to me very useful to begin to think of anything in the wrong sense. But, I have to admit, if thinking: "what does DNA want?" (as if DNA had desires), can lead to this startling new idea, I guess there is a use for that line of reasoning after all, if it's the right individual doing the thinking, that is.
I stand corrected. 😀