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Darwin In the Genome: Molecular Strategies in Biological by Lynn Caporale

By Lynn Caporale

Smart genomes--an mesmerizing account of innovative discoveries on the innovative of genomics research

Written via a molecular biologist on the leading edge of genomics learn, Darwin within the Genome is a thrilling account of 1 of the most well liked new theories in biology this present day: evolution through average choice necessarily results in strategic mutations. within the fight for survival, from pathogens to vegetation, birds to orangutans, baker's yeast to humans, the fittest genomes are those who evolve powerful molecular options that reply to, and in reality count on, demanding situations and possibilities of their environments.

Writing in a transparent, available sort, Lynn Caporale describes the emergence of genomic mutation concepts, which researchers are only commencing to discover. She additionally spells out the various extra profound implications of those findings, together with the significance of biodiversity, certainly human range, for survival, the opportunity of daring new instructions for scientific study, and the inherent hazards of trying to repair perceived "errors" in a human genome.

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Extra info for Darwin In the Genome: Molecular Strategies in Biological Evolution

Sample text

Random mutation generates changes throughout the gene, this explanation says, but changes in most parts of the gene provide no selective advantage. If changes in a particular part of the gene provide no advantage, then a snail with those changes is no more fit than the starting snail, and so there is no reason to expect an increase in snails with changes in that part of the gene. Changes in some parts of the gene actually hurt the new snail, so those snails have a disadvantage; we won’t see many of them or their children either.

It is clear, from work like Lynn Ripley’s, that mutations do not occur at random places in the DNA. However, they might be at random places with respect to the biological effects of the mutation. Whether or not they are random with respect to biological effects (for example, they did not appear to be random with respect to biological effects in the cone-snail toxins) is an important issue that I will return to soon. For now, I am just talking about where mutations happen in the DNA. Predictable mutations depend not only on the sequence of letters in the DNA, but also on which side of the double helix is being copied.

Random mutation generates changes throughout the gene, this explanation says, but changes in most parts of the gene provide no selective advantage. If changes in a particular part of the gene provide no advantage, then a snail with those changes is no more fit than the starting snail, and so there is no reason to expect an increase in snails with changes in that part of the gene. Changes in some parts of the gene actually hurt the new snail, so those snails have a disadvantage; we won’t see many of them or their children either.

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