Tuesday, August 01, 2006

 

Iowa State researcher studies gene families to explore diversity and evolution

Ames, Iowa - Theoretical biologist Stephen Proulx studies gene families to explore how genomes become diverse and evolve. The Iowa State University assistant professor uses mathematical tools and computer models to determine how environmental and evolutionary factors - like seasonal change, migration and sexual preference - structure a genome...

...In a recent paper published in the journal Evolution (Abstract), Proulx and colleague Patrick Phillips, professor, University of Oregon, Eugene, show that the process of gene family expansion can begin even before a gene is duplicated. The first step in the process involves specialization of different variants of a gene that can then take on different functions once the gene is duplicated by chance.

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