The Evolving Gene

Book Report/Review
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Since awareness has dawned upon the human mind, the quest for an explanation to how things came to be has hounded every inquisitive person. In particular, the quest for answers to the question of how living organisms came to be and have evolved over time has received the most attention.


Then, thru time and natural selection, as what Darwin contends, the living organism branched out assuming different forms and acquiring specialized characteristics. The rapid technological developments in the past century have enabled important discoveries such as the discovery of the DNA.
The DNA has been found to contain the blueprint of the living being. It contains the information of the organism's phenotypic and genotypic expression. With the interest in genetics at a high, there have been efforts to study intensively the gene and investigate whether it can provide clues to how living things evolved.
The study of Tarlinton, Meers and Young (2006) focused on the study of endogenous retroviruses - viruses that have integrated themselves into their host genomes. This process is relatively widespread among mammals. The research has focused on the Koala Retrovirus (KOrV). In an earlier study, all the koalas that were tested were positive for endogenous retroviruses. However, Young and his colleagues found out that some koala populations off the south coast of Australia were not infected and some of them tested positive. All koalas in the northern coast tested positive. This suggests that the virus is transitioning between an exogenous retrovirus to an endogenous form. ...
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