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Moontanman

Predicting Evolution?

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Can evolution be predicted? Scientists from AMOLF in Amsterdam and the ESPCI in Paris seem to have found a way to do so. 

 

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-method-evolution.html

 

Quote

Predicting chance-driven evolution seems impossible. Nevertheless, scientists from AMOLF in Amsterdam and the ESPCI in Paris have succeeded in making predictions about the evolution of a set of genes in E. coli. When and how genes mutate remains random, but it appears predictable which gene is more likely to evolve first, or if evolutionary deadlock arises. The results are published on 13 April in the journal Nature Communications.
"Evolution in new environments is inherently unpredictable. Mutations are found to arise randomly in different genes and at different moments," says AMOLF group leader Sander Tans. "In addition, you rarely know beforehand what effect a mutation will have on cellular functions and what the influence of environmental factors is."

 

 

 

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On 14/04/2018 at 10:39 PM, Moontanman said:

Can evolution be predicted? Scientists from AMOLF in Amsterdam and the ESPCI in Paris seem to have found a way to do so. 

 

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-method-evolution.html

 

What you are saying is not at all representative of this study.

They only investigated two genes within the bacterium E. coli. I think this is a long way from predicting evolution.

 

 

 

 

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On 14/04/2018 at 11:39 PM, Moontanman said:

Can evolution be predicted? Scientists from AMOLF in Amsterdam and the ESPCI in Paris seem to have found a way to do so. 

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-method-evolution.html

 

I am aware that what I will write is on another level from what your article describes but we can kind of predict the changes that the environment will go through and based on that I guess we can predict how some species will adapt.

For example there are higher and higher levels of plastic waste in the oceans. There are now microorganisms who started feeding on this.(which is not good for us but that's a different story) I guess it was to be expected.

Temperatures are increasing and ocean levels are getting higher, this will affect currents so it will affect species that depend on plankton, also polar bears don't have a bright future, I am guessing that anything affected by this will have to tweak their diet and adapt or become extinct.

This is just my speculation based on limited prior knowledge but I believe the general idea is true.

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6 hours ago, Silvestru said:

I am aware that what I will write is on another level from what your article describes but we can kind of predict the changes that the environment will go through and based on that I guess we can predict how some species will adapt.

For example there are higher and higher levels of plastic waste in the oceans. There are now microorganisms who started feeding on this.(which is not good for us but that's a different story) I guess it was to be expected.

Temperatures are increasing and ocean levels are getting higher, this will affect currents so it will affect species that depend on plankton, also polar bears don't have a bright future, I am guessing that anything affected by this will have to tweak their diet and adapt or become extinct.

This is just my speculation based on limited prior knowledge but I believe the general idea is true.

I do not think what you wrote is on another level, but rather the opposite. 

From the article:

Quote

Predicting evolution in this manner is somewhat similar to how meteorologists predict the weather. They state the probability of rain, for example. "The point is that a prediction does not have to be exact, like when you shoot a cannonball and can predict quite precisely where it will land," says Tans. "We do not predict where and when mutations arise. Rather, it is about predicting certain limitations of the evolutionary process, and ultimately providing probabilities for different scenarios.

Limitations come from the environment. To say, for example, that we have 5 fingers on each hand by a chance is stretching the meaning of "by a chance". 

Two notes:

Since we can influence our environment in a significant way, can we say that we can influence our evolution?

Does this "predictability", as talked about in the article, implies that alien species evolving in a similar environment to ours, would evolve in a similar way?

Edited by tuco

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4 minutes ago, tuco said:

Since we can influence our environment in a significant way, can we say that we can influence our evolution?

For sure we have, even through our diets we are changing ourselves as a species I believe. We are consuming way more fat and sugar on a daily basis than few hundred years ago.

I'm sure this will affect us somehow. Also all the pollution caused by us must have an effect on our evolution. I am trying to send a message, I just mean that if the air becomes polluted, species which cannot adapt to it will decrease in numbers.

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