Friday, January 27, 2006

In the darkest time in the deepest part of the forest, the scientist prepare.

The evolution of sex is a paradox that has boggled the minds of scientist for many decades. Although certain theories, such as the Red Queen and the mutation determenistic model, have been somewhat accepted the argument whether a pluristic or direct approach should be taken is still being debated. On one hand you have the problem of combining an array of theories which would eventually allow you to support anything. On the other hand you can choose to restrict yourself to one theory and basically apply it only to the population which you are currently studying. Neither one satisfies the scientist within.

It seems that although sex (and recombination) may break up beneficial genotypes it also drives out alleles which may become detrimental if found within a population. Sex then continues to persist in many populations although asexual reproduction has also evolved independently in many lineages. So why is there so much sex? In some asexual organisms its been shown that a small amount of sex can erase the effects of unfavorable alleles. If sex is costly then you would imagine that there would be an advantage to limit the amounts of sex within a population.



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