On January 12, 2022, Phys.Org had a PR on an article documenting “non-random” mutations found in wild tobacco plants, published by a team from UC Davis. Now, three weeks later (Feb 1, 2022), we have another paper, working with human populations in Africa, and which, according to a team from the University of Haifa, “surprisingly” turns up “non-random” mutations.
From the PR on the first paper:
The scientists found that the way DNA was wrapped around different types of proteins was a good predictor of whether a gene would mutate or not. “It means we can predict which genes are more likely to mutate than others and it gives us a good idea of what’s going on,” Weigel said.
The findings add a surprising twist to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection because it reveals that the plant has evolved to protect its genes from mutation to ensure survival.
And from the PR for the second paper:
“For over a century, the leading theory of evolution has been based on random mutations. The results show that the HbS mutation is not generated at random but instead originates preferentially in the gene and in the population where it is of adaptive significance,” said Prof. Livnat. Unlike other findings on mutation origination, this mutation-specific response to a specific environmental pressure cannot be explained by traditional theories. . . . . . . .
“Mutations may be generated nonrandomly in evolution after all, but not in the way previously conceived. We must study the internal information and how it affects mutation, as it opens the door to evolution being a far bigger process than previously conceived,” Livnat concluded.
What do you know!! There’s “information” in the genome. Lots of it!! What a surprise!!!