Work from Mar Albà's group on the evolution of new genes featured in Nature News

Scientists long assumed that new genes appear when evolution tinkers with old ones. It turns out that natural selection is much more creative.  

Evolutionary genomicist Mar Albà, head of the Evolutionary Genomics Group of GRIB, had shown that the younger a gene is, evolutionarily speaking, the faster it tends to evolve. She speculated that this might be because the molecules encoded by younger genes are less polished and need more tuning, and that this could be a consequence of the genes having arisen de novo - they were not tied to a previous function as tightly as those that had evolved from older genes. Both Albà and Begun recall that it was challenging to publish their early work on the topic. "There was a lot of scepticism," says Albà. "It's amazing how things have changed."  

Read the article at Nature News 

Site Information