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Loss of genes may be beneficial in the long run
- January 18, 2020
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Throughout the process of evolution of living organisms, genes and gene combinations are constantly changing, developing, and some of them even disappear – it was the research team from the Max Planck Institute in Dresden that took up the study of the factor of gene loss in the context of evolution. Scientists have developed a special computer computational model to detect systematic gene loss in different species of mammals – and the results could not help but be surprised, since they managed to find previously undetected variants and patterns of genes that almost completely disappear in the process of evolution of living organisms for adaptation in the environment.
In general, the process of loss of genes and gene connections is considered a priori harmful to living organisms, as it is often associated with the development of various genetic diseases or DNA failures – however, in this study, microbiologists focused on studying how strong the role of gene loss in during evolution to adapt living organisms.
Thanks to the result of the analysis of genes in 62 species of mammals obtained using a computer model, German microbiologists came to the conclusion that some of the “lost” genes not only change the adaptation of organisms, but give them completely new properties that can radically change the environment. For example, scientists send us to the studied gene compounds in the body of dolphins, previously responsible for hair growth – but with the course of water adaptation of dolphins, the disappearance of these genes led to improved adaptation.
What is even more interesting, scientists were able to prove the fact that in different species of animals the loss of the same functional genes is observed, especially when it comes to those genes that determine a new direction of adaptation in a residential environment. However, there are still many questions that remain unresolved, the more scientists are trying to complement the computer model they created with new computational functions.