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  Topic: Beyond A 'Speed Limit' On Mutations,, Species Risk Extinction< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Henry J



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Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,14:01   

Beyond A 'Speed Limit' On Mutations, Species Risk Extinction
Quote
Cambridge, Mass. - October 1, 2007 - Harvard University scientists have identified a virtual "speed limit" on the rate of molecular evolution in organisms, and the magic number appears to be 6 mutations per genome per generation -- a level beyond which species run the strong risk of extinction as their genomes lose stability.

iirc, the average mutation rate for the coding section in humans is what, 1 or 2 per generation?

Henry

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,14:03   

This was just on slashdot
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071004100013.htm  
Quote
eldavojohn notes an article up at Science Daily on research demonstrating that smaller animals with warmer blood evolve faster than larger, colder animals. From the article: "Across species from fish to mammals, they found that rates of protein evolution showed the same body size and temperature dependence as metabolic rate. Specifically, their mathematical model predicts that a 10-degree increase in temperature across species leads to about a 300 percent increase in the evolutionary rate of proteins, while a tenfold decrease in body size leads to about a 200 percent increase in evolutionary rates."  

  
someotherguy



Posts: 398
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,14:30   

Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 04 2007,14:01)
Beyond A 'Speed Limit' On Mutations, Species Risk Extinction
Quote
Cambridge, Mass. - October 1, 2007 - Harvard University scientists have identified a virtual "speed limit" on the rate of molecular evolution in organisms, and the magic number appears to be 6 mutations per genome per generation -- a level beyond which species run the strong risk of extinction as their genomes lose stability.

iirc, the average mutation rate for the coding section in humans is what, 1 or 2 per generation?

Henry

Wow that is really fascinating.  Should be interesting to see what kind of responses this paper gets.

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Evolander in training

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,14:38   

Praise Jebus, I am sure ID predicted this.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,16:35   

Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 04 2007,14:01)
Beyond A 'Speed Limit' On Mutations, Species Risk Extinction
   
Quote
Cambridge, Mass. - October 1, 2007 - Harvard University scientists have identified a virtual "speed limit" on the rate of molecular evolution in organisms, and the magic number appears to be 6 mutations per genome per generation -- a level beyond which species run the strong risk of extinction as their genomes lose stability.

iirc, the average mutation rate for the coding section in humans is what, 1 or 2 per generation?

Henry

Two qualifications on this paper:

1) It's actually 6 mutations per essential part of the genome per generation. As best I can tell, the "essential part" in their model corresponds to the coding sequences for proteins that are essential to survival.

2) Their model assumes organisms reproduce independently. In other words, the calculated speed limit is only applicable to asexually reproducing organisms. Indeed, the authors compare their models only to empirical data from viruses and prokaryotes.

  
Henry J



Posts: 5107
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,22:36   

Quote
2) Their model assumes organisms reproduce independently. In other words, the calculated speed limit is only applicable to asexually reproducing organisms. Indeed, the authors compare their models only to empirical data from viruses and prokaryotes.


Then an analogous limit for sexual species hasn't been determined? I noticed that their 6 value is only a few times greater than what I recall for the average generation mutation rate of the coding DNA part of the human genome.

Henry

  
jeannot



Posts: 1201
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,05:50   

One of the benefits of sexual reproduction is the purge of deleterious mutations. So I suppose that the upper limit for mutation rates in sexual lineages is much higher. Calculating this limit must be quite hard.

  
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