Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Two-Edged Sword of Evolution

Recent developments should remind us that Evolution implements an 'Error-then-Trial' dynamic; mutations followed by adaptive fitness tests in the environment.

The Moffitt Cancer Center made available the following press release: 'Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers: Darwin s Principles Say Cancer Will Always Evolve to Resist Treatment: However, principles of natural selection may also hold key to thwarting emergence of drug resistance'.

Science Magazine reports that 'Chicken Vaccines Combine to Produce Deadly Virus'.  This echoes findings in 2009 that certain types of bacteria integrate the DNA that they have captured from invading enemies into their own genetic makeup to increase their chances of survival.

We must be mindful that the strategy of mutations followed by a test for evolutionary fitness by its very nature has unintended consequences; at least from a human perspective.  Evolution couldn't care less.  Even implying that it could 'care' one-way-or-the-other is an anthropomorphic fallacy.

Research has also revealed that prions, bits of infectious protein devoid of DNA or RNA, evolve.

That fact that cancer cells resist treatment, different virus/bacterial strains share genetic material and even lifeless disease causing proteins undergo Evolution should remind us that it is a two-edged sword.



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