HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Does evolution select for faster evolvers?

HOUSTON, Jan. 29, 2007 -- It's a mystery why the speed and complexity of evolution appear to increase with time. For example, the fossil record indicates that single-celled life first appeared about 3.5 billion years ago, and it then took about 2.5 billion more years for multi-cellular life to evolve. That leaves just a billion years or so for the evolution of the diverse menagerie of plants, mammals, insects, birds and other species that populate the earth.

New studies by Rice University scientists suggest a possible answer; the speed of evolution has increased over time because bacteria and viruses constantly exchange transposable chunks of DNA between species, thus making it possible for life forms to evolve faster than they would if they relied only on sexual selection or random genetic mutations.

"We have developed the first exact solution of a mathematical model of evolution that accounts for this cross-species genetic exchange," said Michael Deem, the John W. Cox Professor in Biochemical and Genetic Engineering and professor of physics and astronomy.

The research appears in the Jan. 29 issue of Physical Review Letters.

Past mathematical models of evolution have focused largely on how populations respond to point mutations random changes in single nucleotides on the DNA chain, or genome. A few theories have focused on recombination the process that occurs in sexual selection when the genetic sequences of parents are recombined.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a cross-species form of genetic transfer. It occurs when the DNA from one species is introduced into another. The idea was ridiculed when first proposed more than 50 years ago, but the advent of drug-resistant bacteria and subsequent discoveries, including the identification of a specialized protein that bacteria use to swap genes, has led to wide acceptance in recent years.

"We know that the majority of the DNA in the genomes of some anim
'"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
29-Jan-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
2. New textbook illuminates the close links between evolutionary and molecular biology
3. Coelacanth fossil sheds light on fin-to-limb evolution
4. Genomics study provides insight into the evolution of unique human traits
5. New proteomics research promises to revolutionize biomedical discovery
6. Species detectives track unseen evolution
7. Study identifies energy efficiency as reason for evolution of upright walking
8. Clues to future evolution of HIV come from African green monkeys
9. Tumor painting revolutionizes fight against cancer
10. Revolutionary global environment fund announces $50M expansion
11. A first-principles model of early evolution

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Does evolution select for faster evolvers

(Date:10/30/2014)... developed a suite of technologies that can be used ... applications in everything from search and rescue to service ... platform for computer-mediated communication between humans and dogs that ... behavioral signals and sending them clear and unambiguous cues ... of computer science at NC State and co-lead author ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... In the largest study of its kind to date, ... genes that heighten the risk for autism. Joseph Buxbaum, ... York City, Mark Daly, Ph.D., Broad Institute of Harvard ... DNA samples from affected children, parents and unrelated people. ... to contribute to the risk for autism spectrum disorder ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... number of chemicals from household and industrial products are ... bodies. But for most of them, scientists have yet ... taken the first step toward doing that by estimating ... new method is published in the ACS journal ... and colleagues note that the risks to human health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New tech aims to improve communication between dogs and humans 2
(Date:10/27/2014)... October 27, 2014 The ... produce, exhibit and sell its artificial "lower limb", ... their patent.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141027/713097 ... of fighting, the definitive judgement has arrived: Roadrunnerfoot, ... innovative and accessible hi-tech prostheses with composite materials, ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... October 27, 2014 New Q4-2014 ... SoundConnect , an industry leading unified communication and ... and agents to deliver cloud-based audio and web/video ... opportunities. , With SoundConnect’s Q4 incentive partners ... video and/or web conferencing licenses sold, now through ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... , Oct. 27, 2014 Janssen Biotech, ... America (CCFA) announced today the launch of ... an educational campaign designed to provide resources ... on the paired role of nutrition and appropriate ... the multimedia assets associated with this release, please ...
(Date:10/25/2014)... 2014 The report “Adipic Acid ... Geography - Global Trends & Forecast to 2019” ... to market drivers, opportunities, and trends in different ... 27 figures spread through 217 slides and in-depth ... & Forecast to 2019”., http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/adipic-acid-269.html , Early ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Italian Lower Limb Prosthesis Company Wins Lawsuit Against German Giant Ottobock 2SoundConnect Unveils Q4 Partner Incentives 2Celebrity Cook Sunny Anderson Teams Up With Janssen And Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America To Launch Educational Campaign 2Celebrity Cook Sunny Anderson Teams Up With Janssen And Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America To Launch Educational Campaign 3Celebrity Cook Sunny Anderson Teams Up With Janssen And Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America To Launch Educational Campaign 4Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 4
Cached News: