STANFORD, Calif. - Evolutionary biology has always faced a major hurdle - how to test a process that takes place over thousands, if not millions, of years. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution. Genetic mutations and the possible mechanisms underlying evolution have been studied in laboratory animals for decades, said David Kingsley, PhD, professor of developmental biology and assistant investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The challenge has been to find a means of applying what scientists know to be true in the lab to systems in the natural world. In a paper published Dec. 20 in the journal Nature, Kingsley and his team propose that a small spiny fish called the three-spine stickleback, and the gene-linkage map of the fish's chromosomes that the team has developed, may be the tools evolutionary biologists have been needing.
The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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