On this day (November 13), 1924, Motō Kimura, who was a mathematical biologist, was born in Japan.
From a very young age he was very interested in botany, although he also excelled in mathematics (teaching himself geometry and other mathematics during a long convalescence from food poisoning). After entering a selective high school in Nagoya , Kimura focused on plant morphology and cytology; he worked in the laboratory of M. Kumazawa studying the chromosome structure of lilies . With Kumazawa, he also discovered how to connect his interests in botany and mathematics: biometrics .
Following the advice of prominent geneticist Hitoshi Kihara , Kimura entered the botany program instead of cytology because the former, at the Faculty of Science instead of Agriculture, allowed him to avoid military service.
He moved to the University of Wisconsin to work on stochastic models with James F. Crow and join a strong community intellectual of like-minded geneticists, including Newton Morton and Sewall Wright . Near the end of his graduate studies, Kimura lectured at the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium in 1955; although few were able to understand it (both because of the mathematical complexity and Kimura's English pronunciation) she received high praise from Wright and later from JBS Haldane . His achievements at Wisconsin included a general model for genetic drift, which could accommodate multiple alleles, selection, migration, and mutations, as well as some work based on the fundamental theorem of natural selection by RA Fisher.
1968 marked a turning point in Kimura's career. In that year he introduced the neutral theory of molecular evolution, the idea that, at the molecular level, the vast majority of genetic change is neutral with respect to natural selection, which makes genetic drift a primary factor in evolution. The field of molecular biology was expanding rapidly and there was growing tension between proponents of the expanding reductionist field and scientists of organismal biology , the traditional domain of evolution. The neutral theory was immediately controversial, receiving support from many molecular biologists and drawing opposition from many evolutionary biologists.
As a curiosity to mention that in 1992, Kimura received the Darwin Medal from the Royal Society and the following year he was named a foreign member of the Royal Society.
- good morning
- good morning
- what do you need?
- give me a kilo
- very good
- thank you
- but a kilo of what?
- a kilo of molecules
- so funny
- I don't know why
- that of the molecules?
- what molecules?
- you have asked me for a kilo of molecules
- oh, excuse me, I meant a kilo of peaches
- perfect, now we understand each other, take