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:4/22/2014)... in two Minnesota cities demonstrate how communities can ... a ten year program in New England and ... to local conditions. , "Our goal is to ... said program co-leader Latham Stack, of Syntectic International, ... worsened. We help communities move beyond feeling paralyzed ...
(Date:4/21/2014)... is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains ... from the cows, gut bacteria. The findings, reported in ... American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is ... genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where ... (AR) genes have already been identified, but the vast ...
(Date:4/21/2014)... are on the decline in the Galpagos. , A new ... indicates numbers of the iconic birds, known for their ... attract mates, have fallen more than 50 percent in less ... is probably due to an unexplained disappearance of sardines from ... at Wake Forest University and the study,s principal investigator. This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Minnesota projects offer hope and practical help to communities facing more extreme storms 2Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes 2Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes 3Lack of breeding threatens blue-footed boobies' survival 2Lack of breeding threatens blue-footed boobies' survival 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that ... an e-Journal and producer of Food Labs Conference ... for the co-location of Food Labs Conference to be held ... registration fee to attend the two-day Food Lab Conference, March ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 Look inside the new Preferred ... the lab, from fluid handling to instruments to supplies. ... when you order. , Preferred Solutions features a ... the L/S® model for precise flow control and dispensing ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... California , January 15, 2014 Oxford ... today announced the appointment of Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD ... years, development experience gained in the biotechnology industry, most recently ... am delighted to welcome Tom at this transformative time for ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... This webinar will focus on EMA and ... in biosimilars. , Regulatory frameworks are evolving many countries ... the complex nature of biopharmaceuticals makes the demonstration of ... challenging. Based on the specific aspects of biosimilar drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 2Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 3Cole-Parmer Begins 2014 with the Release of Preferred Solutions 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2
Cached News: