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April 14, 2008

‘Darwin chip’ brings evolution into the classroom?

’08 April 2008 – New Scientist

A new “Darwin chip” could make evolution as easy as pressing play.

Researchers have created an automated device that evolves a biological molecule on a chip filled with hundreds of miniature chambers.

The molecule, which stitches together strands of RNA, became 90 times more efficient after just 70 hours of evolution.

“It’s survival of the fittest,” says Brian Paegel, a biochemist at the Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla, California, who led the study with colleague Gerald Joyce.

Interesting article.

But it seems to only address Natural Selection, not Evolution. Natural Selection, which is a cornerstone to Evolution, only explains “extinction” and “why brown hair is more common then red hair”. It does not deal with actual changes in the species (potatoes turning into broccoli). Mutations are credited with that kind of change.

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