Field of Science

Using evolution to intelligently design experiments

Evolutionary analyses can be a powerful way of translating patterns of sequence variation among multiple proteins into functional hypotheses that can be tested biochemically. Sadly, however, in some biochemical analyses, the evolutionary story is overlooked in favour of simply combining interacting proteins from pairs of microbes and more or less simply seeing what happens (so called heterologous systems). In these cases, few questions are asked, and little is learned about either the evolutionary history or the biological function. Here's a post from Vasya about the right and wrong ways to mix evolution with biochemistry.

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