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Antibiotics and vaccines can act as selection factors for bacteria

As noted in prior posts, almost anything has the potential to act as an evolutionary selection factor. [Yes, Virginia, there really is evolution.] A recent assessment that traces the history of a virulent strain of pneumonia-causing bacteria demonstrates that both antibiotics and vaccines can act as...

Evolution is a complex process, just ask the Transylvanian naked-neck chicken

Prior posts have noted that selection factors that influence evolution can be highly variable, and sometimes surprising. It is not the simple "survival of the fitest" postulated by Darwin (who in fairness could not have known about many of the selection factors and processes described in these...

Could DNA that is no longer present in the human genome have helped to make humans what we are? Very likely.

Prior posts have looked at a variety of issues related to genes and what allegedly makes humans what we supposedly are. But, is it possible that DNA that is no longer present in the genome also helped to shape us? How would we know? Most research into homo sapien genomics has focused on teasing out...

Genetic assessments often provide fascinating insights into the underlying agents of evolutionary change

Prior posts have noted the numerous selection factors that help to drive evolutionary change. Genetic analysis of two such changes show evolutionary change in action. It turns out that Zygaena caterpillars make cyanide in the same manner as their host plant, the bird's-foot trefoil, but the underlying...

DNA Predicts Only a Few Disorders

Prior posts have noted that gene functioning can be modified by a number of processes, such as methylation. Recently animal tests have found that some of these modifications are passed on to off-spring even though no change is made to the gene itself, only to its expression. Prior posts have also noted...