Evolution 101- part 11: Gene Flow and the Arch Duke of Hearts

Remember, normal text is copied from Evolution 101 by the Understanding Evolution team! (Ironic Mascot: Ken Ham) http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

BOLD font is me, Rent A Friend 2000, being Bold.

The causes of mutationsMutations happen for several reasons.

  1. DNA fails to copy accurately
    Most of the mutations that we think matter to evolution are “naturally-occurring.” For example, when a cell divides, it makes a copy of its DNA — and sometimes the copy is not quite perfect. That small difference from the original DNA sequence is a mutation.DNA Copies
Did I mention that an average functional protein needs 300 amino acids in the right order? That means 900 of those DNA letters in the right order. You know how having one number wrong in a telephone number means you can’t make your call? It can be a lot like that.
  1. External influences can create mutations
    Mutations can also be caused by exposure to specific chemicals or radiation. These agents cause the DNA to break down. This is not necessarily unnatural — even in the most isolated and pristine environments, DNA breaks down. Nevertheless, when the cell repairs the DNA, it might not do a perfect job of the repair. So the cell would end up with DNA slightly different than the original DNA and hence, a mutation.Radio ACTIVE

Now they’re just TAUNTING the TMNT fans. Radioactive waste COULD cause mutations in a turtle, but not THOSE mutations. Way to harsh our Ninja Turtle buzz, man. Read more of this post

Evolution 101- part 10: Mutants- Yes, Ninja Turtles- No.

Remember, normal text is copied from Evolution 101 by the Understanding Evolution team! (Ironic Mascot: Ken Ham) http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

BOLD font is me, Rent A Friend 2000, being Bold.

So, what are the sources of genetic variation?

Genetic variation

Without genetic variation, some of the basic mechanisms of evolutionary change cannot operate.

“Some.” Did you get that? So, in a world of clones, other mechanisms of evolutionary change apparently could happen. I think they didn’t proof read this stuff.

There are three primary sources of genetic variation, which we will learn more about:

  1. Mutations are changes in the DNA. A single mutation can have a large effect, but in many cases, evolutionary change is based on the accumulation of many mutations.
  2. Gene flow is any movement of genes from one population to another and is an important source of genetic variation.
  3. Sex can introduce new gene combinations into a population. This genetic shuffling is another important source of genetic variation.
 mitosis

Genetic shuffling is a source of variation.

Mutations

Mutation is a change in DNA, the hereditary material of life. An organism’s DNA affects how it looks, how it behaves, and its physiology — all aspects of its life. So a change in an organism’s DNA can cause changes in all aspects of its life.

Just to keep you on your toes, some scientific fact which doesn’t contradict itself. Enjoy it while it lasts. Read more of this post

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