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Encyclopedia > Conrad Hal Waddington
Conrad Hal Waddington
Born November 8, 1905
Evesham, Worcestershire, England
Died September 26, 1975
Edinburgh, Scotland
Field Developmental biology, Genetics, Paleontology
Institutions Cambridge University, Christ's College
University of Edinburgh
Alma mater Cambridge University
Known for Epigenetic landscape, canalisation, homeorhesis, genetic assimilation
Influences Alfred North Whitehead
Influenced Jean Piaget

Conrad Hal Waddington FRS FRSE (19051975) was a developmental biologist, paleontologist, geneticist, embryologist and philosopher who laid the foundations for systems biology. He had wide interests that included poetry and painting, as well as left-wing political leanings.[citation needed] is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1905 (disambiguation). ... The Market Place in Evesham, circa 1904. ... For the condiment, see Worcestershire sauce. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Edinburgh (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ... Views of a Foetus in the Womb, Leonardo da Vinci, ca. ... This article is about the general scientific term. ... Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, ancient; ontos, being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. ... The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with one of the most selective sets of entry requirements in the United Kingdom. ... Christs College is a name shared by several educational establishments. ... The University of Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: ), founded in 1582,[4] is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with one of the most selective sets of entry requirements in the United Kingdom. ... Epigenetic landscape is a metaphor for biological development. ... Norms of reaction for two genotypes. ... Homeorhesis, derived from the Greek for similar flow, is a concept encompassing dynamical systems which return to a trajectory, as opposed to systems which return to a particular state, which is termed homeostasis. ... Note: Genetic assimilation is sometimes used to describe eventual extinction of a natural species as massive pollen flow occurs from another related species and the older crop becomes more like the new crop. ... Alfred North Whitehead, OM (February 15, 1861, Ramsgate, Kent, England – December 30, 1947, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.) was an English-born mathematician who became a philosopher. ... Jean Piaget (August 9, 1896 – September 16, 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental psychologist, well known for his work studying children, his theory of cognitive development and for his epistemological view called genetic epistemology. He created in 1955 the International Centre for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva and... The Fellowship of the Royal Society was founded in 1660. ... The Royal Society of Edinburghs Building on the corner of George St. ... For other uses, see 1905 (disambiguation). ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, ancient; ontos, being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. ... A geneticist is a scientist who studies genetics, the science of heredity and variation of organisms. ... ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Systems biology is a term used very widely in the biosciences, particularly from the year 2000 onwards, and in a variety of contexts. ... This article is about the art form. ... For other uses , see Painting (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Life

Waddington was educated at Clifton College and Cambridge University, where he was a lecturer in zoology and a Fellow of Christ's College until 1942. His interests began with palaeontology but moved on to the heredity and development of living things. He also studied philosophy. An 1898 etching of the College Close Clifton College (grid reference ST569737) is a coeducational public school in Clifton, Bristol, England. ... The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with one of the most selective sets of entry requirements in the United Kingdom. ... College name Christ’s College Named after Jesus Christ Established 1505 Previously named God’s-house (1437-1505) Location St. ... A paleontologist carefully chips rock from a column of dinosaur vertebrae. ... See Heredity (disambiguation) for other meanings. ...


During World War II he was involved in operational research with the Royal Air Force and became scientific advisor to the Commander in Chief of Coastal Command from 1944 to 1945. After the war he became Professor of Animal Genetics at the University of Edinburgh. He would stay at Edinburgh for the rest of life. His personal papers are largely kept at the University of Edinburgh library. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Operations research, operational research, or simply OR, is the use of mathematical models, statistics and algorithms to aid in decision-making. ... RAF redirects here. ... Coastal Command was an organization within the Royal Air Force tasked with protecting the United Kingdom from naval threats. ... The University of Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: ), founded in 1582,[4] is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ...


He married Justin, daughter of the writer Amber Reeves, and was the father of noted mathematician Dusa McDuff and noted anthropologist Caroline Humphrey. Amber Reeves (1888 - 1941) was a feminist writer and scholar, daughter of William Pember Reeves. ... Dusa McDuff (born Margaret Dusa Waddington in London on 18 October 1945) is an English mathematician whose first work was in the field of von Neumann algebras (notably, she proved the existence of infinitely many type factors). ...


In the early 1930's, Waddington and many other embryologists looked for the molecules that would induce the amphibian neural tube. The search was of course useless and most embryologists moved away from such deep problems. Waddington, however, came to the view that the answers to embryology lay in genetics and in 1935 went to T H Morgan's Drosophila laboratory in California even though this was a time when most embryologists felt that genes were unimportant and just played a role in minor phenomena such as eye colour.


In the late 30's, Waddington produced formal models about how gene regulatory products could generate developmental phenomena, showed how the mechanisms underpinning Drosophila development could be studied through a systematic analysis of mutations that affected developmental anatomy (this was the essence of the approach that won the 1995 Nobel prize in medicine for Christiane Nusslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus) and wrote his first textbook of developmental epigenetics, a term that then meant the external manifestation of genetic activity.


Waddington also coined other essential concepts, such as canalisation, which refers to the ability of an organism to produce the same phenotype in various different environments. He also invented a mechanism called genetic assimilation which would allow an animal’s response to an environmental stress to become a fixed part of its developmental repertoire, and then went on to show that the mechanism would work. he thus demonstrated that the ideas of inheritance put forward by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck could, in principle at least, occur. Norms of reaction for two genotypes. ... Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (August 1, 1744 – December 18, 1829) was a French soldier, naturalist, academic and an early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws. ...


The epigenetic landscape

Waddington's epigenetic landscape is a metaphor for how gene regulation modulates development.[1] One is asked to imagine a number of marbles rolling down a hill towards a wall. The marbles will compete for the grooves on the slope, and come to rest at the lowest points. These points represent the eventual cell fates, that is, tissue types. This idea was actually based on experiment: Waddington found that one effect of mutation (which could modulate the epigenetic landscape was) to affect how cells differentiated. Epigenetic landscape is a metaphor for biological development. ... Gene modulation redirects here. ... Cells in culture, stained for keratin The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms. ... Biological tissue is a collection of interconnected cells that perform a similar function within an organism. ...


Waddington as organiser

Waddington was very active in advancing biology as a discipline. He contributed to a book on the role of the sciences in times of war, and helped set up several professional bodies representing biology as a discipline.


A remarkable number of his contemporary colleagues in Edinburgh became Fellows of the Royal Society during his time there, or shortly thereafter.[citation needed]


Waddington was an old-fashioned intellectual who lived in both the arts and science milieus of the 1950s and wrote widely. His 1960 book "Behind Appearance; a Study Of The Relations Between Painting And The Natural Sciences In This Century" (MIT press) not only has wonderful pictures but is still worth reading.


Waddington was, without doubt, the most original and important thinker about developmental biology of the pre-molecular age and the medal of the British Society for Developmental Biology is named after him.


References

  1. ^ Goldberg, A. D., Allis, C. D., & Bernstein, E. (2007). Epigenetics: A landscape takes shape. Cell, 128, 635-638.

Selected works

Books

  • Waddington, C. H. (1940). Organisers & genes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1941). The Scientific Attitude, Pelican Books
  • Waddington, C. H. (1946). How animals develop. London : George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1956). Principles of Embryology. London : George Allen & Unwin.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1957). The Strategy of the Genes. London : George Allen & Unwin.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1959). Biological organisation cellular and subcellular : proceedings of a Symposium. London: Pergamon Press.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1960). The ethical animal. London : George Allen & Unwin.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1961). The human evolutionary system. In: Michael Banton (Ed.), Darwinism and the Study of Society. London: Tavistock.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1966). Principles of development and differentiation. New York: Macmillan Company.
  • Waddington, C. H. (1966). New patterns in genetics and development. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Waddington, C. H., ed. (1968-72). Towards a Theoretical Biology. 4 vols. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Papers

  • Waddington, C. H. 1953. Genetic assimilation of an acquired character. Evolution 7: 118-126.
  • Waddington, C. H. 1956. Genetic assimilation of the bithorax phenotype. Evolution 10: 1-13.
  • Waddington, C. H. 1961. Genetic assimilation. Advances Genet. 10: 257-290.

External links

  • NAHSTE Project Record of C.H. Waddington
  • Induction and the Origin of Developmental Genetics - works by Salome Gluecksohn-Schoenhimer and Conrad Hal Waddington
  • Epigenetics News

 
 

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