Synthetic Biology vs. Natural Selection

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New York Times Project

Biology 113

Topic: Synthetic Biology vs. Natural selection

Synthetic Biology vs. Natural Selection

Darwin first introduced the idea of evolution in his publication of The Origin of Species, on November 24th, 1859 (Campbell, 2005, p. 438). This opposed many traditional views as it was generally accepted that the beginning inhabitants of the world had no mutations in their genetic composition. His publication had two major points. The first being the modern organisms presently inhibiting the earth, differ from their ancestral species by a process called evolution. The other point he made was that of natural selection, as it is the mechanism for evolution. The organisms inherit traits from ancestors who were able to survive specific environmental conditions, passing these traits on to their offspring. Darwin's revolutionary way of thought has led the way to discoveries in the field of evolution, becoming one of the fundamental concepts of modern biology. Many scientists design experiments illustrating Darwin's theory, as they tamper with the environment of the organism and watch it differ from one generation to the next. Other scientists move past the observation stage and start tinkering with the genetic composition of the individual organism, documenting its effects. This can be seen in bacteria and other microorganisms as scientists insert genes into the bacteria, altering the behavior. This can be made possible since the genetic code is universal, with commonalities within organisms of varying complexities. The fact that there lie common codons such as RNA's "CCG" is translated as the amino acid proline in all organisms (Campbell, 2005, p. 314). This leads us to the following articles as synthetic biologists explore the realm of genetic mutations as well as experiment with varying mutations as generations evolve. In the first article, Carol Kaesuk Yoon explores the idea of evolution and its products, giving the...
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