To Survive, Genes Pick Up New Skills, University of California, Davis (UCD) Study

Published: Oct 23, 2012

Genes, like other living things, sometimes have to gain skills to succeed. New research shows that the genes that come out on top do so by a process of “innovation, amplification, and divergence.” Researchers say the observation, reported October 19 in the journal Science, closes an important gap in the theory of natural selection. Scientists have long wondered how living things evolve new functions from a limited set of genes. One popular explanation is that genes duplicate by accident; the duplicate undergoes mutations and picks up a new function; and, if that new function is useful, the gene spreads.

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