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directed evolution

sdryden at mta.ca sdryden at mta.ca
Fri Mar 12 10:03:29 EST 1993

	Recently this year I decided to take a an advanced applied micro-
biology course here ( Mount Allison University ). It is a term project
that seems to be putting a crimp in some of the theories about evoltion ,
betwen what was right (Darwinian evolution) which is fundamentally drilled
into anyone that has taken any basic biology, evolution, or genetics,
and what was 'wrong' (Lamarkian evolution).
	Up until this term, the concept of Lamarkian's theories having any
validity seemed somwhat absurd , that was until my proffessor assigned the 
term projects, and my project was to show Directed Mutations occured in
micro organisms .
	Up until now my thoughts on this subject was that the environment 
can select mutations but it cannot direct them. That was until I got hold
of a couple interesting/contraversial articles on this subject. These 
articles explain some prominant scientist's theories and experiments
on this subject.
	The major amount of work in this field is being performed by
University of Rochester molecular evolutionist Barry Hall and Princton's
oncologist/molecular biologist John Cairns. One working with environmentally
directed mutations in Escherichia coli (trp-,cys-) and E.coli unable to 
digest lactose.
	From their work they were able to show that the bacteria were able
to 'learne' how to generate their own usefull mutatation that was not random.
These bactreia were making (directing) their own mutations in direct response
to adverse environmental conditions.
	By posting this , I am not trying to anger anyone, However I would
greatly appreciate any positive feedback on this topic. The articles that 
I managed to dig up were from 1988 and 1991. Does any body know of any new
work in this field either for or against this theory and works.
	Any reply on this subject would be appreciated if it is either 
posted in this news group or e-mailed to myself. This posting may also spark
some dialect in the group on this interesting subject.

				Stephen Dryden
				BSc.Biol IV Mount Allison University
				Sackvill, New Brunswick, Canada
               SDRYDEN at MTA.CA
        ** "I came, I've learned, now all I can do is hope." **

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