Thursday, October 29, 2015

Faster Evolution

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Biology H
29 October 2015
This article talks about how evolution may occur faster than we originally thought.  After an experiment in which scientists monitored and watched chickens for about 50 years, two mutations have been spotted.  However, fossils records have told us that the maximum evolution rate was 2% in one million years.  If this was true, less than one mutation would have occurred in 50 years, but instead two did.  In my opinion, this is a very important discovery.  If two mutations were spotted in only 50 years, then the what we know about evolution could be completely wrong.  Maybe our estimates of how old the world is are wrong, which would affect the age of fossils that were found.  If this is true, we need to do something about it.  One quote that interested me was when author Dr Michelle Alexander from the University of York said: "The one thing everyone knew about mitochondria is that it is almost exclusively passed down the maternal line, but we identified chicks who inherited their mitochondria from their father, meaning so-called 'paternal leakage'."  If this 50 year study disproved something we knew to be factual, what else have we done wrong?  Another author, Professor Larson, said: "Our observations reveal that evolution is always moving quickly but we tend not to see it because we typically measure it over longer time periods."  He is saying that we have overlooked some aspects of evolution and that we need to measure shorter timelines to observe more in depth.  So, my one question is this: How will this affect organisms living in today's world and what have we made false assumptions on?

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