Navigation Links
New discovery proves 'selfish gene' exists
Date:6/20/2008

A new discovery by a scientist from The University of Western Ontario provides conclusive evidence which supports decades-old evolutionary doctrines long accepted as fact.

Since renowned British biologist Richard Dawkins ("The God Delusion") introduced the concept of the 'selfish gene' in 1976, scientists the world over have hailed the theory as a natural extension to the work of Charles Darwin.

In studying genomes, the word 'selfish' does not refer to the human-describing adjective of self-centered behavior but rather to the blind tendency of genes wanting to continue their existence into the next generation. Ironically, this 'selfish' tendency can appear anything but selfish when the gene does move ahead for selfless and even self-sacrificing reasons.

For instance, in the honey bee colony, a complex social breeding system described as a 'super-organism,' the female worker bees are sterile. The adult queen bee, selected and developed by the worker bees, is left to mate with the male drones.

Because the 'selfish' gene controlling worker sterility has never been isolated by scientists, the understanding of how reproductive altruism can evolve has been entirely theoretical until now.

Working with Peter Oxley of the University of Sydney in Australia, Western biology professor Graham Thompson has, for the first time-ever, isolated a region on the honey bee genome that houses this 'selfish' gene in female workers bees.

This means that the 'selfish' gene does exist, not just in theory but in reality. "We don't know exactly which gene it is, but we're getting close."

"This basically provides a validation for a huge body of socio-biology," says Thompson, who adds the completion of Honey Bee Genome Project in 2006 was crucial to this discovery.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeff Renaud
jrenaud9@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. UC Davis researcher leads climate-change discovery
2. New discovery on role of vital protein that fights meningitis
3. University of Arizona scientist shares in discovery of microbe filaments power
4. Stopping unwanted cell death: Implications for drug discovery
5. Journey to the center of the earth: Discovery sheds light on mantle formation
6. UC San Diego researchers eliminate drug discovery bottleneck
7. Work with power grids leads to cell biology discovery
8. Surprising discovery from first large-scale analysis of biodiversity and biogeography of viruses
9. International team announces discovery of massive Jurassic marine reptile
10. Gene discovery made easier with powerful new networking technique
11. Weird water: Discovery challenges long-held beliefs about waters special properties
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... York , June 15, 2016 ... new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application ... Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  ... 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated to ... USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... --  The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... in which consumers will be able to interact with IBM ... voice or text and receive relevant information about the product ... have long sought an advertising solution that can create a ... and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 03, 2016 , ... Microbial ... microbiome impact grant award has been made to Dr. Renato Polimanti of Yale ... drinking on the oral microbiome. Grant proposals have been vetted by the company’s ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016 More than $4.3 million was ... Medals dinner ( DHMD ). The gala was held at the ... York City and honored Alan Alda ... to health and medicine and the public understanding of science. ... 2006, the event has raised $40 million for the Laboratory,s ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec 2, 2016 Research and ... "Nanobiotechnology Applications, Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is anticipated. Nanotechnology will ... formulations for optimal delivery to diagnostic applications in clinical trials. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... Science Symposium (CSS) and the popularity of US Single Day Events (SDE) to ... in early Summer 2018, in Raleigh, NC. Topics of the pharmaceutical and life ...
Breaking Biology Technology: