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Species (DNA) Change Constantly.

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Posted by Alexander on July 6, 2001 00:19:21 UTC

It is called mutation - change in DNA of the offspring compared to DNA of parents.

There are numerous reasons why replicated DNA is slightly different than the original. Basicly, it is quite difficult task to EXACTLY replicate the sequence of BILLIONS of bases. Various active chemical radicals from environment, high energy cosmic rays, natural radioactivity of bones or carbon C14, K40 in the body, blue/UV sunlight - they all carry enough energy to ionize part of DNA or nearby molecules and in the cascade of following the ionization chemical reactions to result in base loss or gain, incorrect base pairing, even in a cut of one DNA strand and reconnection with another passing nearby strand.

Amazingly, evolution developed various mechanisms to mimimize the effect of those errors, and even to fix some of those errors or but not all of them.

And sometimes what would be considered error may turn into essential advantage in changing environment - like in classic example with moth in 18 century England when rare black mutant moths became invisible on polluted (by mass coal burning) birch tree skin, thus eaten less by birds, thus happily multiplied and replaced white moths. You may see on thius example how specie change in respond on changing environment.

No "governor" or "smart designer" makes those changes - it is just survival of the fittest in chaotic world.

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