Nerve cells ZEISS Microscopy/Flickr

Les nouvelles frontières de l’évolution

MISHIMA – Dans notre compréhension des mécanismes moléculaires, de nouvelles avancées viennent révolutionner de nombreux domaines de la biologie, parmi lesquels la biologie cellulaire et la biologie du développement. Il n’est dont pas surprenant que ces avancées nous fournissent également de précieux éclairages en matière de biologie de l’évolution, et notamment un certain nombre de preuves à l’appui de la théorie quasi-neutre de l’évolution moléculaire, que j’ai moi-même développée en 1973.

Comme c’est souvent le cas en matière scientifique, chaque nouvelle découverte relative à la biologie de l’évolution soulève autant de questions qu’elle n’apporte de réponses. En effet, ma discipline de prédilection connaît actuellement l’une des périodes les plus dynamiques depuis sa création il y a 150 ans.

Pendant près d’un siècle après la publication de l’ouvrage de Charles Darwin intitulé De l’origine des espèces, les scientifiques ont considéré que les mutations génétiques étaient régies par un processus similaire à celui décrit par le père de la sélection naturelle. L’idée consistait à considérer que les individus présentant des variations génétiques supérieures seraient plus à même de survivre, de se reproduire et de transmettre leurs gènes que les individus ne présentant pas ces variations.

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