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Bacteria can Re-Enable Pseudogenes When Under Pressure

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I found this paper fascinating: “Pseudogene repair driven by selection pressure applied in experimental evolution.” There is also a news article about it which explains what is going on in less technical detail.

Yea!. I have access again. I haven't been able to post since Tuesday evening, but now I can, so that's good. Viola Lee
test Viola Lee
I think Lenski and his LTEE team ought to look at their experiments in light of this finding. PaV
From the news article: “The bacteria repaired a pseudogene that they were not using anymore. It was a minor repair. The bacteria needed to either remove two nucleotides from the DNA or insert four to activate the gene. The interesting thing is that they do this when we put the bacteria under evolutionary pressure during the evolution-accelerating process,” says Bernhard Palsson. The paper is behind a paywall, so I cannot get into the details. Assuming that these bacteria "stopped growing," how do they explain the precise and quick random changes that reactivated the pseudogene? Additionally, how does this explain "why evolution has retained these zombie genes that could otherwise easily have been discarded"? I don't really get the spare part analogy. Considering that pseudogenes last very long, we would have to assume that the new mechanism is constantly being corrupted and repaired so that the pseudogene is under selective pressure to stay as close to its functional form as possible, but not quite functional? And lastly, why would you keep a spare part that has to be repaired if you could just repair the main mechanism? Jonathan11
Interesting finding, but perfect example of crediting evolution for everything. The scientists weren't "using evolution", they were using experimentation. Wiggle something and see what happens. When you tease a lion or feed a dog or turn a knob to see what happens, you're not "using evolution". The bacteria weren't "evolving", they were just doing what they do when a particular knob is turned, like a cat licking when its lick button is pressed. polistra

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