Navigation Links
Evolution of 'irreducible complexity' explained

Using new techniques for resurrecting ancient genes, scientists have for the first time reconstructed the Darwinian evolution of an apparently "irreducibly complex" molecular system.

The research was led by Joe Thornton, assistant professor of biology at the University of Oregon's Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and will be published in the April 7 issue of SCIENCE.

How natural selection can drive the evolution of complex molecular systems ?those in which the function of each part depends on its interactions with the other parts--has been an unsolved issue in evolutionary biology. Advocates of Intelligent Design argue that such systems are "irreducibly complex" and thus incompatible with gradual evolution by natural selection.

"Our work demonstrates a fundamental error in the current challenges to Darwinism," said Thornton. "New techniques allowed us to see how ancient genes and their functions evolved hundreds of millions of years ago. We found that complexity evolved piecemeal through a process of Molecular Exploitation -- old genes, constrained by selection for entirely different functions, have been recruited by evolution to participate in new interactions and new functions."

The scientists used state-of-the-art statistical and molecular methods to unravel the evolution of an elegant example of molecular complexity ?the specific partnership of the hormone aldosterone, which regulates behavior and kidney function, along with the receptor protein that allows the body's cells to respond to the hormone. They resurrected the ancestral receptor gene ?which existed more than 450 million years ago, before the first animals with bones appeared on Earth ?and characterized its molecular functions. The experiments showed that the receptor had the capacity to be activated by aldosterone long before the hormone actually evolved.

Thornton's group then showed that the ancestral receptor also responded to a far more anci ent hormone with a similar structure; this made it "preadapated" to be recruited into a new functional partnership when aldosterone later evolved. By recapitulating the evolution of the receptor's DNA sequence, the scientists showed that only two mutations were required to evolve the receptor's present-day functions in humans.

"The stepwise process we were able to reconstruct is entirely consistent with Darwinian evolution," Thornton said. "So-called irreducible complexity was just a reflection of a limited ability to see how evolution works. By reaching back to the ancestral forms of genes, we were able to show just how this crucial hormone-receptor pair evolved."


'"/>

Source:University of Oregon


Related biology news :

1. To Stop Evolution: New Way Of Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Demonstrated By Scripps Scientists
2. Evolution of taste receptor may have shaped human sensitivity to toxic compounds
3. Evolution of life on Earth may hold key to finding life in outer space
4. Evolutionary conservation of a mechanism of longevity from worms to mammals
5. Evolutionary biology research techniques predict cancer
6. Evolutionary shifts in olfactory sensitivities in fruit flies
7. Evolution follows few of the possible paths to antibiotic resistance
8. Evolution mystery: Spider venom and bacteria share same toxin
9. Evolutionary scrap-heap challenge: Antifreeze fish make sense out of junk DNA
10. Evolutionary forces explain why women live longer than men
11. Evolution reveals an independent route for diversity in animal form
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... Finland , June 9, 2016 ... National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the ... France during the major tournament ... data communications systems and services, announced today that its video ... Prefecture to back up public safety across the ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... von Nepal hat ... Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung ... in der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. ... Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 ... ... the US Computational Science Symposium (CSS) and the popularity of US Single Day ... will take place in early Summer 2018, in Raleigh, NC. Topics of the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... Orthogonal, a ... their recent FDA Class II 510(k) clearance for their flagship medical device, SimplECG. ... remote cardiac monitoring devices that rely on cloth-based nanosensors. While other companies have ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Dec. 1, 2016   ... liquid photopurification, announced today that the Company has concluded ... has the right for a 90-day period to acquire ... invoice value of approximately USD 3.7 million.  ... an agreement with Tamarack under which Tamarack will seek ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... a new moving magnet Voice Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures ... long life with cost-effective pricing and is ideally suited where extreme precision is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: