HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Evolvability could be a driving force in drug resistance

HOUSTON, Aug. 9, 2004 -- Not only has life evolved, but life has evolved to evolve.

That's the conclusion drawn by two Rice University scientists who have designed a computer simulation to test the idea that evolvability -- the likelihood of genetic mutation -- is a trait that can itself be favored or disfavored through the process of natural selection.

The results of the study appear in the Aug. 10 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers Michael Deem, the John W. Cox Professor of Bioengineering and professor of physics and astronomy, and David Earl, Deem's post-doctoral research fellow, drew their conclusions from a sophisticated computer simulation that recorded how much and how rapidly proteins mutated based on external changes in their environment. As the researchers ramped up the frequency and severity of environmental changes -- imagine rapid shifts between heat waves and cold snaps or heavy rains and droughts -- they saw an increased likelihood of survival among proteins that mutated more frequently.

"Selection for evolvability would help explain a growing body of experimental results including the evolution of drug resistance in bacteria, the fact that some immune system cells mutate much more rapidly than other cells in our bodies, as well as why some bacteria and higher-order organisms have a tendency to transpose or swap relatively long sequences of DNA," said Deem.

Traditionally, a significant number of evolutionary biologists have discounted the idea that evolvability is subject to natural selection, in part because the idea that evolution acts upon the mechanism that causes evolution seems to violate the basic scientific principle that an event cannot precede its own cause.

But Deem and Earl argue that causal violations need not occur. For one thing, there are several different ways that genetic mutations occur. Random changes along the DNA chain are now understood to
'"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
9-Aug-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Landmark agreement between Samoa and UC Berkeley could help search for AIDS cure
2. Circulation of disaster myths in Haiti could hinder appropriate disposal of bodies
3. New study indicates arsenic could be suitable as first-line treatment in type of leukaemia
4. Marijuana use could cause tubal pregnancies
5. Gene chips research in cotton could lead to superior variety
6. Groundbreaking research could ignite new solutions to heat transfer in nano-devices
7. Bullish chemical could repel yellow fever mosquitoes
8. Termites could hold the key to self-sufficient buildings
9. Wastewater could treat itself, power city
10. Sugar-coated sea urchin eggs could have sweet implications for human fertility
11. Identifying tick genes could halt disease, bioterrorism threat

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/14/2017)... (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups ... collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built with ... France is one of the ... percent increase in the number of startups created between 2012 ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret datasets, ... Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the double-helix ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most ... you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and ... unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading ... a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will ... need for communication among health care professionals to enhance the ... nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to help ... breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: