Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

Evolution Can Select for Evolvability, Penn Biologists Find

RATE THIS! +49
Posted in Science on 16th Nov, 2013 06:46 AM by AlexMuller

Evolution does not operate with a goal in mind; it does not have foresight. But organisms that have a greater capacity to evolve may fare better in rapidly changing environments. This raises the question: does evolution favor characteristics that increase a species’ ability to evolve?

 
For several years, biologists have attempted to provide evidence that natural selection has acted on evolvability. Now a new paper by University of Pennsylvania researchers offers, for the first time, clear evidence that the answer is yes.
 
The senior author on the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, is Dustin Brisson, an assistant professor in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology. His coauthors include Penn’s Christopher J. Graves, Vera I. D. Ros and Paul D. Sniegowski, and the University of Kentucky’s Brian Stevenson.
 
“It’s not controversial that populations evolve and that some traits are more apt to evolve than others,” Brisson said. “What we were asking is whether the ability of an organism to evolve is a trait that natural selection can pick.”
 
For species of viruses, pathogenic bacteria and parasites to survive over the long-term, they must possess an ability to rapidly adapt and evolve, enabling them to stay one step ahead of their hosts’ immune systems. But these pathogens don’t need to foresee what conditions lie ahead of them. They only must change into something that the immune system has never seen before.
 
“Pathogens face a very strong selection pressure from the host’s immune system,” Brisson said. “If they don’t adapt, they will die.”

Tags: evolutionbiologyenvironmentvirusbacteria

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-16
+2
The concept that organisms that can evolve quicker are better adapted to change is consistent with natural selection and is good that new evidence supports this Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-16
+2
Simple pathogens are very good example because we know that they are under selection pressure from our immune defence - they evolved to avoid it Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-16
+0
Good examples of advantages of fast evolution and fast change is microbes becoming resistant to antibiotics. This is now a huge problem
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-16
+0
Good point. Many diseases that were considered eradicated or reduced, such as tuberculosis, are coming back Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-16
+0
Adaptation to changing environment is a great advantage - it is changes so much with human activity and this could be the factor to consider
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-16
+0
Yes, this is something to consider and, importantly, to control as well Reply
Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2017-08-21 19:26:00
    Darmiyan’s software detects early stages of Alzheimer’s..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-08-21 19:20:53
    Google needs to pay Apple a fortune to remain the default.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-08-21 19:15:22
    Artificial Intelligence beats doctors at diagnosing.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-08-20 16:55:58
    Computer Approaches Human Skill for First Time in Mapping.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-08-20 16:51:23
    Researchers use polystyrene to make next-generation of.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me