News of the WeekEvolutionary Biology

Twinned Genes Live Life in the Fast Lane

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Science  10 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5494, pp. 1065-1066
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5494.1065a

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On page 1151, researchers describe new insights into how genes arise and fuel evolution. By trolling through sequence data for nine very distinct organisms, they have uncovered evidence that genes are copied far more frequently--and the duplicates are lost from the genome far faster--than researchers had thought. What's more, the work suggests that some duplicate genes play a key role in the evolution of new traits and in speciation.