Home » Cornell Conference, Genetics » Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 7—Probability of Beneficial Mutation—Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 7—Probability of Beneficial Mutation—Abstract

Biological Information

To facilitate discussion, we are publishing the abstracts and conclusions/summaries of the 24 papers from the Cornell Conference on the Origin of Biological Information here at Uncommon Descent, with cumulative links to previous papers at the bottom of each page.

Note: The hard cover version is now shipping.

The abstract for Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation by George Montañez, Robert J. Marks II, Jorge Fernandez, John C. Sanford:

There is growing evidence that much of the DNA in higher genomes is poly-functional, with the same nucleotide contributing to more than one type of code. Such poly-functional DNA should logically be multiply-constrained in terms of the probability of sequence improvement via random mutation. We describe a model of this relationship, which relates the degree of poly-functionality and the degree of constraint on mutational improvement. We show that: a) the probability of beneficial mutation is inversely related to the degree that a sequence is already optimized for a given code; b) the probability of beneficial mutation drastically diminishes as the number of overlapping codes increases. The growing evidence for a high degree of optimization in biological systems, and the growing evidence for multiple levels of poly-functionality within DNA, both suggest that mutations that are unambiguously beneficial must be especially rare. The theoretical scarcity of beneficial mutations is compounded by the fact that most of the beneficial mutations that do arise should confer extremely small increments of improvement in terms of total biological function. This makes such mutations invisible to natural selection. Beneficial mutations that are below a population’s selection threshold are effectively neutral in terms of selection, and so should be entirely unproductive from an evolutionary perspective. We conclude that beneficial mutations that are unambiguous (not deleterious at any level), and useful (subject to natural selection), should be extremely rare. More.

See also: Origin of Biological Information conference: Its goals

Open Mike: Origin of Biological Information conference: Origin of life studies flatlined

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference— Can you answer these conundrums about information?

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Is a new definition of information needed for biology? (Chapter 2)

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—New definition of information proposed: Universal Information (Chapter 2)

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Three, Dembski, Ewert, and Marks on the true cost of a successful search

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Three on the true cost of a successful search—Conservation of information

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Four: Pragmatic Information

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Four, Pragmatic information: Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Five Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Five – Basener on limits of chaos – Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Six – Ewert et all on the Tierra evolution program – Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Six – Ewert et all on the Tierra evolution program – Conclusion

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

One Response to Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 7—Probability of Beneficial Mutation—Abstract

  1. Call me biased, but I considered this paper to be one of the most devastating out of the conference:

    A few related notes;

    Multidimensional Genome – Dr. Robert Carter – 10 minute video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8905048/

    The Extreme Complexity Of Genes – Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8593991/

    K´necting The Dots: Modeling Functional Integration In Biological Systems – June 11, 2010
    Excerpt: “If an engineer modifies the length of the piston rods in an internal combustion engine, but does not modify the crankshaft accordingly, the engine won’t start. Similarly, processes of development are so tightly integrated temporally and spatially that one change early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream” (1)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....l-systems/

Leave a Reply