Sunday, February 26, 2006

Don't do it for yourself, do it for the gene pool

When sexual species reproduce asexually, they accumulate bad mutations at an increased rate, report two Indiana University Bloomington evolutionary biologists in this week's Science. The researchers used the model species Daphnia pulex, or water flea, for their studies.

The finding supports a hypothesis that sex is an evolutionary housekeeper that adeptly reorders genes and efficiently removes deleterious gene mutations. The study also suggests sexual reproduction maintains its own existence by punishing, in a sense, individuals of a species that meander into asexuality.
I can just imagine the scientist persuading his significant other to turn off the computer and come to bed.

Tags = Science

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