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Different noses for different mice and men

Andreas Keller

BMC Biology 2012, 10:75  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-75

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All genes mutate at random, even those confering an adaptive advantage

Jacques van Helden   (2012-08-28 11:39)  Aix-Marseille Universit��

Excellent summary of interesting results regarding a fascinating biological question.

A detail though: the following sentence is misleading, because it gives the impressions that mutations affect genes at different rates depending on their adaptive value:

"Receptor genes duplicate at random and the duplicated gene, unless it confers an adaptive advantage, then mutates at random. "

A duplicated gene that confers an adaptive advantage mutates at the same rate as a non-adaptive duplicated gene. The relative frequencies of observed mutations in adaptive and non-adaptive genes will only occur afterwards, as an effect of natural selection.

This might seem a detail, but it is important to avoid such confusion, specially because this kind of reviews is addressed to a relatively broad audience, which might include non-biologists.

Competing interests

None.

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