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Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:40 pm

Does adaptation to an environment act as a speed bump for evolutionary change?

By Andrea Gawrylewski

The research, now 15 years in the making, comprises one arm of an ongoing investigation into one of the central questions of evolution, still unanswered two centuries after Charles Darwin's birth: If mutation is one of the driving mechanisms behind evolution, how does a single mutation, whether it alters just one or many traits, control how quickly organisms are able to adapt to their environments by adopting the fittest traits? And once an organism has adopted these traits, becoming more complex, do the traits place constraints on further evolution? Is complexity itself a deterrent to evolutionary plasticity?

Peter Henderson
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