Well, if that’s a way bacteria evolve, what becomes of common descent and speciation? What do we mean by “bacterial species”?
Horizontal gene transfer isn’t even that uncommon, as the researchers admit. If this is how people who are used to explaining evolution in Darwinian terms react, maybe they should just stick to propounding Darwinism and leave the rest to people who take a broader and more balanced view.
Readers will remember science writer David Quammen’s new book, The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life, a biography of Carl Woese, who first identified the Archaea (and doubted Darwinism). They will also doubtless remember Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, who does not life Tangled Tree, and… Well, he still doesn’t like it and has […]
As we might expect. Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne offers his thoughts on science writer David Quammen’s new book about Carl Woese, The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life: Quammen is right that the horizontal transfer of genetic information does complicate our effort to understand the evolutionary past, but he goes too far in claiming […]
David Quammen, author of The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life, a biography of Darwin skeptic Carl Woese, who discovered the Archaea, offers a long reflection at the New York Times on how biology is moving away from Darwinism: Woese was a rebel researcher, obscure but ingenious, crotchety, driven. He had his Warholian 15 […]
Researchers Iranzo and Koonin ask: Typically, natural selection results in deletions of harmful genes, so the main question is, why hasn’t natural selection wiped out genetic parasites? They mean “transposons, plasmids, viruses” etc., that offer no benefit to the hosts. They offer a hypothesis: In a new study published in EPL, researchers Jaime Iranzo and […]
Including things you didn’t know about Archaea discoverer, Carl Woese. From a review of The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen (Simon & Schuster, 2018): In The Tangled Tree, celebrated science writer David Quammen tells perhaps the grandest tale in biology: how scientists used gene sequencing to elucidate the evolutionary relationships […]
The genes were transferred to the beetles, researchers say, from sea squirts (tunicates) , with whom they have, may we say, not much in common, by microorganisms (symbiont bacterial strains). From ScienceDaily: An international team of researchers led by scientists of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and […]
Which now seem to serve an as-yet-unknown function in the bat. From ScienceDaily: Some 18 million years ago, an ancestor of mouse-eared bats “stole” genetic material from an ancient virus related to Bola. The swiped genetic sequence — a gene called VP35 — has remained largely intact in the bats despite the passage of time, with few […]
From ScienceDaily: Far from just being the product of our parents, University of Adelaide scientists have shown that widespread transfer of genes between species has radically changed the genomes of today’s mammals, and been an important driver of evolution. In the world’s largest study of so-called “jumping genes,” the researchers have traced two particular jumping […]
From ScienceDaily: A new study by scientists at the University of Liverpool documents, for the first time, how the ability of bacteria to swap genetic material with each other can directly affect the emergence and spread of globally important infectious diseases. Known as ‘horizontal gene transfer’, this phenomenon is understood to have played a role […]
Not how we are all apes but how bacteria can get the better of us? Jathink? From ScienceDaily: That may sound scarce; however, .” ..as only a small number of strains (<10%) were isolated from farm and urban environments, we were surprised to find one with mcr-1 on a transferable plasmid, which is a relatively […]
From ScienceDaily: “It’s exciting and significant to find a living family of giant viruses with eukaryote-specific genes in a form that predates the latest common ancestor of all eukaryotes,” says Albert Erives, associate professor in the Department of Biology. “These viruses are like time machines that tell us more about how life on our planet […]
From Rafi Letzter at LiveScience: According to two papers published in the journal Cell in January, long ago, a virus bound its genetic code to the genome of four-limbed animals. That snippet of code is still very much alive in humans’ brains today, where it does the very viral task of packaging up genetic information […]
From ScienceDaily: Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication in Cell Reports, Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death. Then, by integrating the […]