Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How Life Generates New Forms

A new study has found which type of gene regulation is most likely to generate evolutionary change. A team in Switzerland demonstrated that gene regulation by transcription powers evolutionary change most effectively. This team's previous work also showed that robustness and evolvability, which are two traits that are key to evolution. Robustness refers to the ability to function relatively normally despite mutations, while evolvability relates to the ability to adapt to mutations. What this means is that transcriptional regulation plays a major role in evolution.

What I wonder is whether or not transcriptional regulation affects the time required for evolution, and whether or not this can be manipulated. I understand it would certainly be a hot topic if scientists found a way to speed up evolution and it is probably just my imagination thinking up interesting scenarios. However, when we consider how crazy people in the 1800s would go if they saw an Iphone we are reminded how far we have come technologically in such a short period of time. With that in mind is it really that crazy to think this breakthrough couldn't somehow lead to the control of evolution, especially when you consider what CRISPR allows us to do.

Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180412102933.htm

Second Link: https://www.upi.com/Study-pinpoints-type-of-gene-regulation-essential-to-evolution/8411523551092/


  1. I think this is a really great finding, and I agree with your wondering if this has an impact on the time-frame for evolution. Evolution is one of my favorite topics, so this discovery and the potential implications/future discoveries is really fascinating and exciting!

  2. This is really cool. I never heard of Robustness or evolvability but their importance to evolution have similarities that follow Darwin's Theory of natural selection. Having these traits would increase survival in an individual. The idea of increase the rate of evolution is extremely interesting but I think there will be people who will reject the thought of tampering with evolution.