Score One For Natural Selection

Posted by
DA Morgan on Apr 19, 2002 at 15:56

The following is from page 31 of the April 2002 issue of Scientific American.

"Evolutionary biologists just got some genetic evidence they have been waiting for: a new study shows how simple genetic changes could have transformed multilimbed crustaceans into the six-limbed terrestrial insects that appear around 400 million years ago. Experimenting with fruit flies, William McGinnis and two colleagues at the University of California at San Diego found that changing six amino acids in the protein Ubx, which normally helps to govern abdominal development, created embryos with fewer limbs. McGinnis says that a stepwise process of natural selection could have enabled this transition, with subsequent generations of crustaacean ancestors carrying an additional amino acid change. These results, published online February 6 by Nature, counter arguments leveled by evolution critics who maintain that scientists lack genetic theories to explain how natural selection could induce radical changes in body design.

(any typos are mine)

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup



[ Forum ] [ New Message ]