Evolution Runs Faster on Short Time Scales — Via Quanta Magazine

“Think of it like the stock market,” he said [Simon Ho]. Look at the hourly or daily fluctuations of Standard & Poor’s 500 index, and it will appear wildly unstable, swinging this way and that. Zoom out, however, and the market appears much more stable as the daily shifts start to average out. In the same way, the forces of natural selection weed out the less advantageous and more deleterious mutations over time.”
Classwork:
Read the article titled: Evolution Runs Faster on Short Time Scales (Quanta Magazine, March 14, 2017)
Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Evolution Runs Faster on Short Time Scales — Via Quanta Magazine

  1. It is very interesting to see how, when maxed out, a family tree looks very stable and very symmetric. The picture resembles a family tree of all the organisms in Earth. It states that at the beginning of planet Earth their where more organisms but most were prokaryotes. Which later evolved to eukaryotes and unicellular and multicellular organisms. It also tells that the more complex an organism is the less amount of its species remain. It is fascinating how the majority of organisms that have existed on Earth are all grouped to this family tree which shows their common ancestor.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/this-evolution-graphic-will-make-you-feel-tiny-2015-5

    Like

  2. Although Simon Ho’s discovery of the time-dependent rate phenomenon was truly incredible, it brought many contradictions in the scientific community. These contradictions were due to the fact that scientist’ observations needed to be changed and they didn’t know how much their estimates would change. However, Katzourakis found out that evolutionary rates decrease as the timescale increases by studying the origin of retroviruses. He also developed a mathematical model to determine the time-dependent phenomenon. The most important thing in these discoveries is that evolutionary rates vary over time and are cause by natural selection and environmental changes. The following picture represents the evolution of grasses, which I found very interesting.
    http://nmnh.typepad.com/.a/6a01156e4c2c3d970c01b8d116a799970c-pi

    Like

  3. This tree sums up everything that has existed and lived on planet Earth. It shows organisms that were successful, in a biological sense, and those who weren’t. Nature has found a way to wipe those out to give way those who proved to be stronger, or dominant. It is amazing to see how nature has slowly gone expanding the variety of living organisms and how from a single celled prokaryote, we know have complex multicellular eukaryotic organisms. Nature will always find a way in which it will survive. There are also phylogenic trees made in a much smaller scale to only fit a specific amount of organisms such as the one being linked here: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SM-lGspoSVw/UZJ9jbY51yI/AAAAAAAABr8/9kvXvo2eW1M/s1600/Tree_of_Life4.gif

    Like

  4. Before reading this article, i thought that when more time passes, organisms get each generation better and better and there would be no end. But now that i read the article, i saw how the mechanism of DNA mutating back to a mutation that already occurred by pure chance, makes me believe in the theory of ecological balance. The theory states that “natural conditions, including numbers of various animal and plant species, remain stable on their own through variations over time.” Its like when a volcano erupts, the trees and life around it die, but as a consequence new trees grow because the land is more fertile like a balanced cycle”. Here is a link of the definition of ecological balance. https://www.reference.com/science/ecological-balance-13991864a8b0f2 But going back to genes, it surprised me that while more time passes, less new combinations there is. Of course, that doesn’t ,mean that organisms will stop evolving but they just go slower. But not as slow as the geological Earth like the article said.

    Like

  5. This article truly breaks the traditional idea that evolution and natural selection happens over long periods of time. Small mutations appeared in abundance during a short genealogical time. This article shows evidence that scientists should change their methods of viewing evolution at a larger scale and instead focus on a shorter scale. Additionally, Ho’s theory includes all types of species from prokaryotes to multicellular organisms such as horses. From the detailed family tree above, it seems as if all the recorded species that have existed follow a uniform path through generations in order to survive, but if you zoom in you can see all the different little mutations that emerged during a shorter period of time. I found an article that presents examples of evolution that can be seen today. Even though these cases do not necessarily include short-term evolution (because it refers more to changes in it’s DNA strand), they present different events where a physical evolution took place very rapidly.

    Source: http://listverse.com/2011/11/19/8-examples-of-evolution-in-action/

    Like

  6. I found that this article was very impressive and interesting because I always thought that evolution was more clear and assured the time frame was of millions of years. But this article says how evolution runs faster on a shorter time scale, which is very interesting to me. this realization, as expected, has changed the way biologists and the whole world, see evolution; it has had tremendous implications for the whole world. This article shows evidence how natural selection, evolution and mutations appear a lot in a short period of time. During short time frames of evolution, evolution happens faster and the mutations occur at different parts of the genome but in a slower and longer time frame, the same genomes could be mutated twice and this alters the final overall rate or evolution. Understanding evolution is a key component to understanding today and what will happen in our future, these big breakthroughs help scientists understand more about our world.

    Like

  7. At first glance, the picture looks disorganized and hard to decipher but when you take a closer look you can see how symmetric it actually is. Each part represents something. Ho’s idea says that pretty much all of the existing species, whether a bacteria or a dog follow essentially the same steps in order to preserve their species. Pretty cool. The linked article, bashes the idea of evolution happening over millions of years as well. Here is a link to the experiment done by one of the biologists and his student on the rapid evolution of viruses. http://jvi.asm.org/content/90/16/7184

    Like

  8. If someone ever told me that an animal 10 years older than me has more differences than one that is 10,000 years old, I’d call bluff. But tats exactly what scientists have uncovered. This article states that evolution works quicker on short periods of time or short scales but when observed over long periods, mutations even or balance out therefore the overall change is less. This discovery allows scientists determine more accurately where to place organisms in the timeline and better date their appearance, especially viruses and bacteria. However for actual mutations to take place and persist on organisms takes a little over a million years according to this article in https://phys.org/news/2011-08-fast-evolutionary-million-years.html.

    Like

  9. The fact that species separated by millions of years showed fewer differences than this separated by only few generations raised many questions. Many biologist panicked, while others were amazed. Imagine how scientist must have felt when they realized evolutionary time could be wrong. Evolution is the basis of biology, it plays a huge role in many processes and themes. The work of Katzourakis was very interesting and helpful. He tried to find the exact date for the origin of retroviruses. Together with Ho and the other contributors, the way we see evolution changed and we also concluded that the rate of evolution may vary even among the same organisms. This article, like many others, shows that science is always subjected to change if enough proof is available.

    After reading this article I found myself interested in retroviruses, here is more information about them:
    https://global.britannica.com/science/retrovirus

    Like

  10. Incredible to see the so many different branches of ancestry from millions and millions of years ago within a single diagram. The history of living things in one picture, outstanding! How from a single bacteria, natural selection was able to develop more complex organisms with special survival traits and building the many branches present today. I saw this diagram and the first thing that popped into my head was the world and a city, like for example: when one sees a picture of Earth from space, one only sees the blue of the ocean, the green and brown of the surface, and the white of clouds, yet when one zooms in and sees any city in the world, and notices the many buildings, cars, streets, lights, people and many other different things. For you to understand my point visually, I will post pictures: http://www.billfrymire.com/gallery/weblarge/globe-earth-space-Western-Hemisphere.jpg http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1548653.1387206545!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/intersection.jpg

    Like

  11. A phylogenetic tree or evolutionary tree is a branching diagram or “tree” showing the inferred evolutionary relationships among various biological species or other entities. This trees help scientist visualize the ongoing evolutionary process in which nature has played the role of the protagonist. Nature’s main job was to slowly get rid of those who lacked the strength to survive thus allowing the stronger ones with the best suited characteristics to keep reproducing. Its amazing how nature always finds a way to survive and how scientist have managed to coil up so many years of evolution in just on simple image.

    Like

  12. The way in which organisms evolve has been topic of steady debate ever since evolutionary theories were first established by Charles Darwin. It is a known fact in today’s scientific understanding that evolution occurs via different mechanisms in which organisms adapt to certain environmental changes. It is also known that evolution occurs because of genetic modifications ot a population’s genome; by nucleotides being switched because of mutations, different proteins are encoded by genes. These subtle changes in the DNA can manifest in the phenotypes of a certain populations in a way that favors evolution. This being said, scientists still struggle to comprehend timeframes in which evolution occurs, as explained in the article.

    The rate at which evolution happens, in both a macroscale and microscale, can have numerous implications. Known biological timeframes can be revised due to Ho’s work. This could also help to visualize and pinpoint evolutionary trends. By being able to view these trends in more detail, scientists might be able to one day predict certain changes that can occur based on the environmental situation that forces a certain population to adapt.

    Ho’s work suggested that genetic modifications occur at a faster rate when viewed in short timeframes. This helps explain how animals can rapidly adapt to certain environmental changes. This is especially helpful in today’s rapid global climate change. The rapid onset of human-induced Global Warming brings about unprecedented amounts of global climate changes that will force organisms to quickly adapt. Bases on the research presented in the article, this is able to be done efficiently due to rapid genetic changes over a short time. For example, plants will have to quickly adapt to increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere or else certain species unable to adapt will go extinct. Similarly, animals will have to adapt to rapid environment changes such as habitat destruction, increased temperature, oceanic acidity increase, among others. Ho’s work provides insight into how these organisms can better adapt because of fast genetic modifications that allow for microevolution to occur based on existing environmental stresses.

    Like

  13. This giant phylogenetic resumes all of the life that has existed on Earth. We see how the organisms have evolved into the ones we know today. Also, we see the different branching points resembling the common ancestors that a group of organisms shared; ever since the beginning of life about 3.8 billion years ago. In short-term basis, nature creates a variety of random mutations to test for or against them and see which ones get to survive and reproduce. On the long run, those that survive and reproduce remain as successful organisms and continue reproducing and those who were unfit, nature selects against them to get rid of the weak traits. This is the dynamic that nature presents, selecting those organisms that have the most favorable traits for survival and getting rid of those traits that are weak for the survival of a species.

    Like

  14. This phylogenetic tree shows us the evolutionary history of all the organisms that have ever lived, starting with the one common ancestor of all living things. This phylogenetic tree also shows us the mass extinctions that have occured throughout the Earth’s history. It truly is amazing to think that all of the organisms that are alive today, only make up 1% of all the organisms that have ever lived, and it only makes me think about what life may have been like millions of years ago, when some of our ancient ancestors were still alive. Throughout the history of the world, natural selection has picked out the organims with the weakest traits, while the ones with the strongest traits have survived and been able to reproduce and pass on their genes. This process has been going on since the beginning of life, and it will continue on for the years to come. Here I found a phylogenetic tree of mammals.
    http://www.whozoo.org/mammals/mammalianphylo.htm

    Like

  15. It is not entirely surprising that evolution could speed up in a short burst of time then slow down, making it seem as if little changed through out a long period of time. Applying statistical terms, such as regression to the mean to evolution, would account for the overall process to be slow, even though it experienced some burst of increments. Much like a car with constant rpm going downhill that then starts moving on a level road and starts going uphill (the speed of the car going downhill is leveled out by its speed going uphill making the avg speed seem normal), evolution would speed up in moments of many external stimuli but would regress to the normal rate of evolution once amount of external stimuli decreases.
    Currently it would make great sense if organisms begin to evolve rapidly due to the many environmental challenges organisms are facing that they wouldn’t normally be facing if it wasn’t for the changes in climate occurring all over the globe. That being said Ho’s ideas and concepts regarding evolution are not far fetched but are rather difficult to put into an equation, for it would be too difficult to account for the amount of stimuli needed to make evolution occur and the rates at which those stimuli are occurring.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170314-time-dependent-rate-phenomenon-evolution-viruses/

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s