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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 11:01 AM
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Evolution by Mistake
Major Driving Force Comes from How Organisms Cope With Errors at Cellular Level
ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2011) Charles Darwin based his groundbreaking theory of natural selection on the realization that genetic variation among organisms is the key to evolution.

Some individuals are better adapted to a given environment than others, making them more likely to survive and pass on their genes to future generations. But exactly how nature creates variation in the first place still poses somewhat of a puzzle to evolutionary biologists.

Now, Joanna Masel, associate professor in the UA's department of ecology and evolutionary biology, and postdoctoral fellow Etienne Rajon discovered the ways organisms deal with mistakes that occur while the genetic code in their cells is being interpreted greatly influences their ability to adapt to new environmental conditions -- in other words, their ability to evolve.

"Evolution needs a playground in order to try things out," Masel said. "It's like in competitive business: New products and ideas have to be tested to see whether they can live up to the challenge."

The finding is reported in a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 02:50 PM
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1. The history of this planet has not been kind to the perfectly adapted
It's either the rare individual within that group or the ostracized and marginalized groups that always survive titanic shifts in the local environment. The species that are perfectly adapted to their niche usually die out when rapid change happens (sorry, cute little koala bears are doomed). When the food becomes too scarce or even disappears the only ones to survive are members of the species that have an aberrant ability not shared by the main group which makes it possible for them to eat something else that is more abundant or is in some other way not tainted.

Republicans are perfectly adapted for today's climate of governments paving the way for them with special lax rules, tax breaks, low- or no-interest loans, or the CIA swooping in guns blazing to remove competition or peasant uprisings. If today's corporations actually had to sink or swim by their own talents there wouldn't be a single large corporation alive today.
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