Read e-book online Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle PDF

By Andreas Wagner

ISBN-10: 1101628162

ISBN-13: 9781101628164

“Natural choice can shield suggestions, however it can't create them. Nature’s many innovations—some uncannily perfect—call for ordinary rules that speed up life’s skill to innovate.”

Darwin’s idea of usual choice explains how helpful variations are preserved over the years. however the greatest 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 coming of the fittest.”

Can random mutations over an insignificant 3.8 billion years rather be answerable 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 pace and efficiency?

In Arrival of the Fittest, well known evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner attracts on over fifteen years of study to offer the lacking piece in Darwin's concept. utilizing experimental and computational applied sciences that have been heretofore unimagined, he has chanced on that diversifications aren't simply pushed by accident, yet by means of a suite of legislation that permit nature to find new molecules and mechanisms in a fragment of the time that random version may take.

Consider the Arctic cod, a fish that lives and prospers inside of six levels of the North Pole, in waters that often fall under zero levels. At that temperature, the interior fluids of so much organisms develop into ice crystals. And but, the arctic cod survives through generating proteins that reduce the freezing temperature of its physique fluids, very similar to 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 deals up the ultimate puzzle piece within the secret of life’s wealthy diversity.

Publication date: 10/2/2014
Pages: 304

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Characteristics like retrieving ability in dogs, egg size or number in birds, and running speed in humans are all controlled by a combination of whole suites of genes and environmental effects. Mathematical in nature, quantitative genetics takes a rather complex statistical approach to estimate how much variation in a particular trait is due to the environment and how much is actually genetic. One application of quantitative genetics is determining how heritable a particular trait is. This measure allows scientists to make predictions about how offspring will turn out based on characteristics of the parent organisms.

In fact, most of the time they’re loose and string-like. Chromosomes only take on this distinctive shape and form when cell division is about to take place (during metaphase either through meiosis or mitosis). They’re often drawn in this very distinctive shape and form because the special characteristics of eukaryotic chromosomes are easier to see. Figure 2-3 points out the important features of eukaryotic chromosomes. The part of the chromosome that appears pinched together (located, in the figure, in the middle of the chromosome) is called the centromere.

Many incubators contain shakers that slosh liquids around to mix oxygen into the solution. ߜ Autoclaves for sterilizing glassware and other equipment that can withstand exposure to the extreme heat and pressure that kills bacteria and viruses. ߜ Complex pieces of equipment such as thermocyclers (used for PCR; see Chapter 18) and DNA sequencers (see Chapter 11). ߜ Lab notebooks for recording every step of every reaction or experiment in nauseating detail. This obsessive record keeping is necessary because every experiment must be fully replicated (run over and over) to make sure the results are valid.

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Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle by Andreas Wagner


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