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Recombination shapes genetic effects on fitness. Modified from Livnat et al., "Sex, mixability and modularity," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107:1452-7.

Overview

We study how mutational and recombinational mechanisms affect the process of evolution at the fundamental level while employing a wide range of techniques, from mathematical models to cutting-edge experimental methods. By revisiting the fundamentals of evolution, our research has potential implications in diverse fields, from evolutionary biology to molecular medicine and computation. 

Research Questions and Directions

  • Are the probabilities of mutation origination mutation-specific?

  • Do they depend on the genotype in a complex manner?  

  • Is there a relation between the fundamental nature of mu-tation and the role of sexual reproduction in evolution?   

  • We also work on expanding the bridge between evolution-ary biology and theoretical computer science, examining the evolutionary process through the computational lens.   

Lab Activities

A new paper by the Livnat lab published in an advance online edition by Genome Research shows the malaria-resistant HbS mutation to originate faster in the gene and in the population where it is of adaptive significance, providing first evidence on nonrandom mutation origination that is inexplicable from traditional evolutionary theory. Link 

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