Science, discussed.

Category Archives: Molecular Evolution

Change accelerates stalled evolution

Evolution can get stuck. When no mutations are available that can improve the fitness of an organism, evolution cannot proceed. However, using environmental fluctuations that are ubiquitous in nature, evolution … Continue reading


Rate of protein evolution is determined by functional importance and constraints.

After the evolution of DNA sequencing technologies, recording genotype on a large scale has become possible and ever so cheaper too. The the large influx of genomics data resulted in booming research in … Continue reading


Experimental reconstruction of a neutral network for a protein-protein interaction

The structure of fitness landscapes — the mapping of DNA or protein sequences to organismic fitness (or a proxy) — is a central problem in evolutionary biology.  Even in this … Continue reading

27/04/2015 · Leave a comment

A Time for Transcription (Factors)

I’ve been postponing this post for a while, hoping to find the time to expand the analysis, but time seems to elude me at present, so I’ve decided to condense my thoughts … Continue reading

30/03/2015 · Leave a comment

Probability of finding fitter promiscuous mutants (Evolvability) as a function of purifying selection

Recently, in an opinion article, Dr. Shelley Copley, had an interesting view on evolvability.. “.. promiscuity may exist simply because it is impossible to exclude all potential substrates ..” Copley SD … Continue reading


The distribution of mutational effects in yeast

I think it’s fair to say that uncovering the distribution of mutational effects is one of the central problems (if not the central problem) in molecular evolution and genetics today.  … Continue reading


Of Transcription Factors, their Evolution and Mechanism of Action

Transcription factors (TFs) play a key role in any biological system, and not surprisingly are being the centre of a continuous stream of papers. I recently covered the contrasting evidence for … Continue reading

17/02/2015 · 1 Comment

The dual role of Transcription Factors in protein evolution, revisited

In December 2013, Stergachis and colleagues published a high-profile paper on the dual role Transcription Factors (TFs) might have as a consequence of their binding to protein coding regions. This observation could … Continue reading

15/01/2015 · 2 Comments

No conservation of protein dynamics in enzyme evolution

Today’s #365papers is about the topics of protein dynamics, their role in enzymes and some insights into their role in evolution. Maintenance of Native-like Protein Dynamics May Not Be Required for Engineering … Continue reading

09/01/2015 · Leave a comment

An ‘invincible’ antibiotic that is bound to be defeated

The following paper was published as recently as yesterday, but already caused a bit of a stir on social media. Let’s see why. A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable … Continue reading

08/01/2015 · 2 Comments


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