Natural selection of Charles Darwin | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

Natural selection of Charles Darwin

Darwin's Natural Selection Still at Work in Humans

Top 10 Missing Links
Discoveries that have helped build the puzzle of mankind's evolution.

Vestigal Organs
Darwin argued that useless limbs and leftover organs are evidence of evolution.

The findings suggest that about 9 percent of the human genes examined are undergoing rapid evolution.

"Our study suggests that natural selection has played an important role in patterning the human genome, " said Carlos Bustamante, a biologist at Cornell University.

A separate study announced last month indicated the human brain is still evolving, too.

Compared to chimps ...

Bustamante's team found that the genes most affected were those involved in immunity, sperm and egg production and sensory perception. A comparison between human and chimpanzee genomes found that these genes have undergone more changes in humans than in chimps, despite the fact that the two species shared a common ancestor some 5 million years ago.

The genes for a group of proteins important for switching other genes on and off, known as "transcription factors, " were found to vary significantly in humans and chimps. One reason for this could be that turning a gene on or off is easier than changing the gene itself.

"We believe that if you want to evolve a system, it's usually easier to tweak when the protein gets turns on or the total amount of a protein as opposed to the amino acid itself, " Bustamante said.

Negative selection

The validity of Darwin's natural selection has been attacked lately by a small but vocal group who argue that it cannot explain all the complexity seen in nature. They advocate a concept called "intelligent design, " in which a higher being is responsible for the variety of life. Scientists dismiss intelligent design as cloaked creationism and say that there are no significant problems with the widely accepted theory of evolution.

While mainstream scientists do not need further evidence that natural selection occurs, Bustamante's work provides examples of its pace and extent and offers the promise of medical advances down the road.

Another 13 percent of the genes examined in the study showed evidence for negative selection, whereby harmful mutations are weeded out of the population. These included some genes implicated in hereditary diseases, such as muscular dystrophy and Usher syndrome. The latter is the most common cause of congenital blindness and deafness in developed countries.

Medical geneticists are interested in finding genes sensitive to negative selection because they might one day be useful for predicting an individual's likelihood of developing a disease if the types of mutation to a gene and the environmental conditions are known.

Being able to determine which classes of genes are particularly vulnerable to negative selections is a first step, Bustamante said.

See also:

2 days ago (Dec 27), 1831...The Beagle sets sail

by gboole

From Davenport with Charles Darwin aboard.
The object of the expedition was
1. To complete the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego done by a Capt King, earlier.
2. To survey the shores of Chile, Peru, and of some islands in the Pacific - and perform chronometric measurements.
Mission accomplished.

Retiring at 82: You've got to like your work  — ABC Local
She's spent the last 20 years working as a lecturer in horticulture at Charles Darwin University. "You've to like your work," says Mrs Hagan when asked why she kept working long after she could have put her feet up. "I like the students, the students ..

Uni ratings' big tick  — The Australian Financial Review
.. the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney, the University of South Australia, Deakin University, Murdoch University, Charles Darwin University, Curtin University of Technology, Flinders University, Griffith ..

Sugar glider moves around the family tree  — ABC Online
Thought for more than 150 years to be a subspecies of sugar glider, researchers based at Charles Darwin University in Darwin have recently found it more closely resembles two other species of glider, and they speculate that it may even represent an ..

Charles Darwin and Down House
Book (Churchill Livingstone)


The roller
ATHEISTS why dont you get it evolution is a joke?

Charles darwin was a POEt. he was making a parody of the ridiculous theories some scLientists come up with

POEt ? Ok, I call poe. Otherwise, you're trying to spell out 'POEL' and I have no clue what that means.

Sean B
Can you name any famous historical boats? e.g. great eastern, beagle ?

Say the boat and why it's famous

The Edmund Fitzgerald
It was a Great Lakes giant cargo ship that sank during a storm with all hands without even a distress call.

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