AffiliationGurdon Institute, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QN, UK. email@example.com
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Abstract'…in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace-and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock'. Orson Welles as Harry Lime: The Third Man. Orson Welles might have been a little unfair on the Swiss, after all cuckoo clocks were developed in the Schwartzwald, but, more importantly, Swiss democracy gives remarkably stable government with considerable decision-making at the local level. The alternative is the battling city-states of Renaissance Italy: culturally rich but chaotic at a higher level of organization. As our understanding of the cell cycle improves, it appears that the cell is organized more along the lines of Switzerland than Renaissance Italy, and one major challenge is to determine how local decisions are made and coordinated to produce the robust cell cycle mechanisms that we observe in the cell as a whole.
CitationThe Renaissance or the cuckoo clock. 2011, 366 (1584):3625-34 Philos Trans R Soc Lond, B, Biol Sci
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences