March 8, 2013
WE ARE ALL DESIGNISTS NOW:
The Director of Evolution (Jennifer Ouellette, March 8, 2013, Slate)
Charles Darwin spent a lot of time with pigeon breeders and was fascinated by how they selectively bred individual birds to produce offspring with neck ruffles or other distinctive traits. It was one more piece of evidence for his theory of evolution through natural selection: the notion that nature preferentially selects those organisms best suited to a given environment and ensures that the fittest reproduce and survive.Frances Arnold designed a way to direct evolution--to take over the wheel from nature. In her lab at Caltech, she can essentially rewrite DNA then use it to change the way organisms behave, creating new proteins for renewable energy--"green" chemistry. Her methods revolutionized the field of protein engineering and are now used in hundreds of labs around the world.
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 8, 2013 6:42 PM
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