Open Questions: Molecular Evolution

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Prerequisites: Molecular biology and genetics

See also: Evolutionary theory -- Evolutionary milestones -- Evolutionary history of animals -- Developmental biology

Introduction

Speciation

Cladistics

Computing evolutionary trees


Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books

Introduction


Speciation



Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes


Sites with general resources

Molecular Evolution & Organelle Genomics
Contains information and databases of interest to specialists in molecular evolution.
Web Resources in Molecular Evolution and Systematics
External links, mostly for specialists, collected by Kent Holsinger.

Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Molecular evolution
Article from Wikipedia. See also Neutral theory of molecular evolution.
Population genetics
Article from Wikipedia. See also Genetic drift.
Cladistics
Article from Wikipedia.


Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Molecular Evolution
Tina Hesman Saey
Science News, January 31, 2009
Investigating the genetic books of life reveals new details of 'descent with modification' and the forces driving it.
Mining the Mouse
John Travis
Science Week, February 22, 2003, pp. 122-123
It has been 75 million years since the common ancestor of mice and humans lived, yet the two species still share many common DNA sequences. Even more surprisingly, over half of these sequences don't seem to encode proteins, so their actual function is unknown.
[References]
Why the Y is So Weird
Karin Jegalian; Bruce T. Lahn
Scientific American, February 2001, pp. 56-61
The Y chromosome has been a puzzle for its seeming lack of genetic function. Recent work tracing the evolutionary development of the Y chromosome shows it does more than previously supposed.
Deciphering the Code of Life
Francis S. Collins; Karin G. Jegalian
Scientific American, December 1999, pp. 86-91
The combination of detailed maps of the genomes of all forms of life and steadily increasing knowledge of the mechanisms of life at the molecular level will help answer some of the oldest and most important questions about life itself.
The Evolution of Hemoglobin
Ross Hardison
American Scientist, March-April 1999, pp. 126-137
The origins of the protein hemoglobin are found very early in the history of life. Studies of its evolutionary history shed light on the regulations of genes.
DNA Microsatellites: Agents of Evolution?
E. Richard Moxon, Christopher Wills
Scientific American, January 1999, pp. 94-99
Repetitive DNA sequences are not necessarily "junk" but may have evolutionary significance.
The Molecular Anatomy of an Ancient Adaptive Event
Antony M. Dean
American Scientist, January-February 1998, pp. 26-37
A family of enzymes is studied to determine the way in which changes in just a few amino acids have a large evolutionary significance.
Y?
Peter Radetsky
Discover, November 1997, pp. 88-93
The Y chromosome, present only in the cells of male mammals, has been found to have a function besides sex determination. It also regulates sperm production, and has an interesting evolutionary history.


Recommended references: Books

Roger Lewin -- Patterns in Evolution: The New Molecular View
Scientific American Library, 1999
The author provides an introduction for the general reader to the subject of molecular evolution that does not skimp on technical details. It outlines the molecular biology background and goes on to explain such topics as how species are classified, the puzzle of genetic variation within species, the "evolutionary clock", and how these findings can be applied to fields like ecology and anthropology.

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