1129 The Arrow of Time in Evolutionary Biology

Friday, February 19, 2010: 2:50 PM
Room 11B (San Diego Convention Center)
Michael Lässig , University of Cologne, Köln, Germany
Evolution is a quest for innovation: organisms adapt to changing natural selection by evolving new phenotypes. At the molecular level, adaptive evolution takes place in a sea of stochasticity generated by random new mutations and fluctuations in reproduction. The irreversibility of adaptive evolution is measured by a quantity called fitness flux, which defines the length of time's arrow in molecular evolution. This talk will explore the statistical principles governing the production of fitness flux, which are strikingly analogous to nonequilibrium thermodynamics. We will discuss how genomic changes generate fitness flux and how this can be measured by analysis of genome sequences.
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