Monday, July 11, 2005

Web of Evolution

Tangling the Tree: Corante > The Loom > Most people think that evolution is a progression of one specie mutating into another, with the most fit of the mutants surviving to the next generation. A map of such a process would look like a heirarchial tree diagram. However, the reality scientists now find is that in fact the diagram looks like a web as refrenced in this link due to the DNA that gets swapped among bacteria, viruses, etc. While this is most likely limited to microbes, technology is now allowing us to do it again by creating hybrid, genetically engineered organisms. One of the strangest examples is that of a tobacco plant crossed with a firefly at the University of Kentucky to create a tobacco plant that glows in the dark.

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