By Andreas Wagner
“Natural choice can safeguard techniques, however it can't create them. Nature’s many innovations—some uncannily perfect—call for normal rules that speed up life’s skill to innovate.”
Darwin’s idea of average choice explains how worthwhile diversifications are preserved through the years. however the largest secret approximately evolution eluded him. As genetics pioneer Hugo de Vries positioned it, “natural choice might clarify the survival of the fittest, however it can't clarify the arriving of the fittest.”
Can random mutations over a trifling 3.8 billion years quite be chargeable for wings, eyeballs, knees, camouflage, lactose digestion, photosynthesis, and the remainder of nature’s inventive marvels? And if the answer's no, what's the mechanism that explains evolution’s velocity and efficiency?
In Arrival of the Fittest, popular evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner attracts on over fifteen years of study to provide the lacking piece in Darwin's idea. utilizing experimental and computational applied sciences that have been heretofore unimagined, he has came upon that variations aren't simply pushed unintentionally, yet by means of a collection of legislation that permit nature to find new molecules and mechanisms in a fragment of the time that random version might take.
Consider the Arctic cod, a fish that lives and flourishes inside six levels of the North Pole, in waters that often fall less than zero levels. At that temperature, the inner fluids of so much organisms develop into ice crystals. And but, the arctic cod survives through generating proteins that decrease the freezing temperature of its physique fluids, very like antifreeze does for a car’s engine coolant. the discovery of these proteins is an archetypal instance of nature’s huge, immense powers of creativity.
Meticulously researched, rigorously argued, evocatively written, and whole of attention-grabbing examples from the animal state, Arrival of the Fittest bargains up the ultimate puzzle piece within the secret of life’s wealthy diversity.
Publication date: 10/2/2014
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Extra info for Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle
6. Modern genetic technology permits detailed analysis and dissection of biological complexity. 3. Complex biological systems emerge from the functioning of regulatory networks that specify the behavior of genes and proteins. 7. Application of modern technology to human genetics shows great promise for prediction, prevention, and treatment of disease. 4. All living forms are descended from a common ancestor and therefore are closely related at the molecular level. indd Page 13 4/22/10 8:54:58 AM user-f498 PART I /Users/user-f498/Desktop/TEMPWORK/April 2010/22:04:10/Hartwell:MHDQ122 Basic Principles: How Traits Are Transmitted CHAPTER Mendel’s Principles of Heredity Although Mendel’s laws can predict the probability that an individual will have a particular genetic makeup, the chance meeting of particular male and female gametes determines an individual’s actual genetic fate.
Remarkably, more than 75 years before the discovery of DNA, Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk, delineated the basic laws of gene transmission with no knowledge of the molecular basis of heredity. He accomplished this by following simple traits, such as flower or seed color, through several generations of the pea plant (Pisum sativum). We now know that his findings apply to all sexually reproducing organisms. Chapter 2 describes Mendel’s studies and insights, which became the foundation of the field of genetics.
The Human Genome Project, by changing the way we view biology and genetics, has led to a significant paradigm change: the systems approach to biology and medicine. The systems approach seeks to study the relationships of all the elements in a biological system as it undergoes genetic perturbation or biological activation (see Chapter 10). This is a fundamental change from the study of complex systems one gene or protein at a time. Molecular studies may lead to predictive and preventive medicine Over the next 25 years, geneticists will identify hundreds of genes with variations that predispose people to many types of disease: cardiovascular, cancerous, immunological, mental, metabolic.
Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle by Andreas Wagner