19 November 2014

Celebrate diversity: Winning evolution without sex

Quanta magazine has a nice feature article on rotifers, which are apparently some of the longest running asexual lineages that we know about. Or maybe they’re not asexual... maybe it’s sex, Jim, but not as we know it:

The new work has shown bdelloids to be so good at generating genetic diversity that some researchers now question the very definition of sex, with some arguing for a more expansive one that doesn’t require the orchestrated swapping of genetic material. Others think that even if the traditional definition of sex remains intact, the unique genetic strategies of the bdelloid rotifer will illuminate the mechanisms that make sex such a successful evolutionary strategy.

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