Alternative Evolution: Why Change Your Own Genes When You Can Borrow Someone Else's?
By SCIENCEDAILY - SCIENCEDAILY
Updated: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 14:17:45 UTC
Thanks to TheRationalizer for the link
It has been a basic principle of evolution for more than a century that plants and animals can adapt genetically in ways that help them better survive and reproduce.
Now, in a paper to be published in the journal Science, University of Rochester biologist John Jaenike and colleagues document a clear example of a new mechanism for evolution. In previous well documented cases of evolution, traits that increase an animal's ability to survive and reproduce are conferred by favorable genes, which the animal passes on to its offspring. Jaenike's team has chronicled a striking example of a bacteria infecting an animal, giving the animal a reproductive advantage, and being passed from mother to children. This symbiotic relationship between host animal and bacteria gives the host animal a readymade defense against a hazard in its environment and thus has spread through the population by natural selection, the way a favorable gene would.
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