Digital organisms used to confirm evolutionary process

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Using a revolutionary computer program that gives scientists the opportunity to watch evolution take place before their eyes using "digital organisms," a team of researchers from Michigan State University and Caltech has confirmed an evolutionary process long suspected but, until now, unproven.

In a paper published in the July 19 edition of the journal Nature, MSU researchers Richard Lenski and Charles Ofria, along with colleagues at Caltech, provided some insight into one aspect of Darwin's theory of natural selection that they dubbed "survival of the flattest."

The paper's title: "Evolution of Digital Organisms at High Mutation Rates Leads to Survival of the Flattest."

This play on Darwin's own "survival of the fittest" incorporates the fact that fitness depends not only on the quantity of offspring an organism can produce in its lifetime, but also how fit those offspring will be.

Lenski and colleagues make the analogy to mountain climbing: the height of the peak you are on is your speed of replication, and the strength of the winds your mutation rate. If there were only a gentle breeze, you would be most fit by climbing to the highest peak you can. But in a more turbulent hurricane, you would want to find someplace where there is not such a long distance to fall - someplace flat.

A fast replicator may be producing many children, but if it's too susceptible to the harmful effects of mutations, it won't contribute to future generations much beyond that. As Lenski put it, "It would have lots of children but not lots of grandchildren."

Specifically, the researchers found that there is tradeoff between producing offspring faster and making them better able to withstand the harmful effects of most mutations. The bottom line: When mutation rates are high, it is better for a species to reproduce more slowly if this allows its offspring to avoid being seriously harmed by mutation

Contact: Tom Oswald
Michigan State University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Digital evolution reveals the many ways to get to diversity
2. Digital Biology Week: Building a national infrastructure for biomedical computing
3. Digital X-ray microtomography yields stunning views of limb regeneration
4. Digital plant doctor diagnoses plant problems
5. Unicellular organisms contribute more nitrogen to ocean that reported earlier
6. NHGRI adds 18 organisms to sequencing pipeline
7. Scientists urge caution when releasing engineered organisms into environment
8. Marsupial among model organisms next in line for sequencing
9. Study of primitive life form expected to provide clues to biological processes in higher organisms
10. Workshop takes systems view of information processing in organisms
11. UC Riverside to convene conference on genetically modified organisms, Oct. 14-17, 2003

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/1/2020)... ... 01, 2020 , ... Catalent, a global leader in clinical ... packaging facility in Minakuchi, located in the Shiga prefecture of Japan. , Operating ... the new 60,000-square-foot facility will provide customers with flexible clinical supply solutions, serving ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year ... antibodies (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical research strategy to discover ...
(Date:6/25/2020)... ... June 24, 2020 , ... eClinical Solutions LLC ... services that accelerate drug development, is collaborating with Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq: KPTI ... patients with severe COVID-19. This is the first study of an XPO1 inhibitor ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... ... After research model surgery and catheter implantation, the long journey of catheter maintenance and ... successful study, while protecting and accessing the catheter or device post-surgery is often undervalued ... Envigo in a live webinar on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 2020 , ... dicentra , a leading Contract Research ... is pleased to announce that Charles Galea has joined its clinical trials division ... an accomplished and results-driven sales executive with over 10 years of expertise in ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... In most ... used to suppress pigment formation in zebrafish embryos, maintaining optical transparency to facilitate ... Dr MA has been using the zebrafish model to investigate the causes of ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... BOSTON (PRWEB) , ... July 06, 2020 , ... ... Innovative Practices Awards. Entries from Roche, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the University of ... Since 2003, Bio-IT World has hosted an elite awards program, highlighting outstanding examples ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: