experiments exploring 'molecular clocks'

paul wilhelm karl rothemund pwkr at ugcs.caltech.edu
Mon Sep 22 13:41:55 EST 1997

Hi all,

A biology post-doc friend of mine is interested in exploring
research which is somewhat far out of field for her, molecular evolution,
and specifically 'molecular clocks.' That is, she'd like to understand
the way in which we calculate the date of divergence for a pair of 
organisms based on the divergence of their DNAs and go on to build trees
using this data. She understands the growing prevalence of this method
in building phylogenetic trees, and is interested mostly in the 
details of how we calibrate these clocks, and the subtleties of our
assumptions about how they work (assumptions like, a particular sequence
for a clock is not under strong selective pressure, etc.) 
She is particularly interested in any experimental studies in E. Coli or 
other experimental organisms that verify our assumptions about 
molecular clocks--perhaps studies that show the rates of evolution
of sequence in a lab strain of E. Coli after many serial passages. 

I'd like to know of any references to the use and calibration of
molecular clocks that will introduce her to the debate and, in
particular experimental studies that speak to the issue. 

Please respond via email to my post in addition to responding to the 
list since I read news so infrequently.

Thanks very much,

Paul Rothemund

rothemun at pollux.usc.edu
Graduate Student
Department of Computer Science
University of Southern California

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