Talks Prof. James O. McInerney & Dr. Mary J. O´Connell

Talks Prof. James O. McInerney & Dr. Mary J. O´Connell, Seewiesen

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"How evolution is like a global economy" & "On the Malleability of Protein Function"

  • Datum: 23.03.2017
  • Uhrzeit: 13:00 - 14:00
  • Vortragender: Prof. James O. McInerney & Dr. Mary J. O´Connell
  • The University of Manchester and The University of Leeds
  • Ort: Seewiesen
  • Raum: Seminar Room House 4, Tea & Coffee 12:30h
  • Gastgeber: Dr. Maude Baldwin
  • Kontakt: mbaldwin@orn.mpg.de
The traditional view of evolution is that mutations create variation, natural selection and drift reduces variation either randomly or by selecting alleles that confer some fitness effect. However, genomes have taught us that a significant agent of change in evolutionary biology is the process of merging evolving objects with one another. In this talk, I will elaborate on how evolutionary history is like a global economy, where DNA sequences act as “public goods” and the creation of new products (genes, proteins, gene clusters, cell types, genomes) is very likely to occur by the merging of evolving objects. Obviously this is balanced by the loss of whole genes, parts of genes, large tracts of DNA and sometimes the majority of a genome. This “goods thinking” alternative to “tree-thinking” is necessary in order to fully explain evolutionary history. Dr O’Connell’s research group combine computational biology and genome scale analyses with molecular/biochemical assays. She is interested in the tipping point that can occur between purifying selection which preserves function and positive selection that switches function. In essence, she is interested in understanding when protein function changes, where it changes, and how it changes. In this talk Dr O’Connell will summarise work her group have carried out to explore the emergence of novel function and the relationship between genotype and phenotype.
 
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