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Evolutionary biology is the subfield of
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
that studies the
evolutionary processes
evolutionary processes
(
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
,
common descent Common descent is a concept in evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chem ...
,
speciation Speciation is the evolution Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes that are ...

speciation
) that produced the
diversity of life Biodiversity is the biological variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic, species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic ...

diversity of life
on
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
. Simply, it is also defined as the study of the history of life forms on Earth.
Evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

Evolution
is based on the theory that all species are related and they gradually change over time. In a population, the
genetic variations
genetic variations
affect the physical characteristics i.e.
phenotypes right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of petal color in pea plants. The letters B and b represent genes for color, and the pictures show the resultant phenotypes. Ill ...

phenotypes
of an organism. These changes in the phenotypes will be an advantage to some organisms, which will then be passed onto their offspring.
Peppered Moth The peppered moth (''Biston betularia'') is a temperate species of night-flying moth Moths are a paraphyletic group of insects that includes all members of the Order (biology), order Lepidoptera that are not Butterfly, butterflies, with mot ...
and
Flightless birds s are a well-known example of flightless birds. Flightless birds are birds that through evolution lost the ability to flight, fly. There are over 60 extant species, including the well known ratites (ostriches, emu, cassowary, cassowaries, Rhea ( ...
are some examples of evolution in species over many generations. In the 1930s, the discipline of evolutionary biology emerged through what
Julian Huxley Sir Julian Sorell Huxley (22 June 1887 – 14 February 1975) was an English evolutionary biologist, eugenicist, and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reprodu ...
called the modern synthesis of understanding, from previously unrelated fields of biological research, such as
genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, ...

genetics
and
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
,
systematics Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), or ...
, and
paleontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
. A person who studies Evolutionary biology is called an Evolutionary biologist. The importance of studying Evolutionary biology is mainly to understand the principles behind the origin and extinction of species. The investigational range of current research widened to encompass the
genetic architectureGenetic architecture is the underlying genetic basis of a phenotypic right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of petal color in pea plants. The letters B and b represent ...
of adaptation,
molecular evolution Molecular evolution is the process of change in the sequence composition of cellular molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings ...
, and the different forces that contribute to evolution, such as
sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrat ...
,
genetic drift Genetic drift (allelic drift or the Sewall Wright effect) is the change in the frequency of an existing gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_inheritance#History, M ...

genetic drift
, and
biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geography, geographic space and through evolutionary history of life, geological time. Organisms and biological communities often vary in a regular fashion along geograp ...

biogeography
. Moreover, the newer field of
evolutionary developmental biology Evolutionary developmental biology (informally, evo-devo) is a field of biological research that compares the developmental processes of different organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''org ...
("evo-devo") investigates how
embryogenesis An embryo is the early stage of development of a . In general, in s that , embryonic development is the part of the life cycle that begins just after and continues through the formation of body structures, such as tissues and organs. Each embr ...

embryogenesis
, the development of the embryo, is controlled, thus yielding a wider synthesis that integrates
developmental biology Developmental biology is the study of the process by which animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...
with the fields of study covered by the earlier evolutionary synthesis.


Subfields

Evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

Evolution
is the central unifying concept in biology. Biology can be divided into various ways. One way is by the level of
biological organization Biology is the natural science that studies life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because ...
, from
molecular A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In ...
to cell, organism to
population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size of the resident population within their jurisdiction by a process called a ...
. An earlier way is by perceived taxonomic group, with fields such as
zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
,
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
, and
microbiology Microbiology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

microbiology
, reflecting what was once seen as the major divisions of life. A third way is by approaches, such as field biology,
theoretical biology Mathematical and theoretical biology or, Biomathematics, is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular bi ...
,
experimental evolution Experimental evolution is the use of laboratory experiments or controlled field manipulations to explore evolutionary dynamics. Evolution Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populati ...
, and paleontology. These alternative ways of dividing up the subject can be combined with evolutionary biology to create subfields like
evolutionary ecology of living things Evolutionary ecology lies at the intersection of ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, an ...
and
evolutionary developmental biology Evolutionary developmental biology (informally, evo-devo) is a field of biological research that compares the developmental processes of different organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''org ...
. More recently, the merge between biological science and applied sciences gave birth to new fields that are extensions of evolutionary biology, including
evolutionary roboticsEvolutionary robotics is an embodied approach to Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, unlike the natural intelligence human intelligence, displayed by humans and animal cognition, anim ...
, engineering,
algorithms In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ...
,
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a bran ...
, and architecture. The basic mechanisms of evolution are applied directly or indirectly to come up with novel designs or solve problems that are difficult to solve otherwise. The research generated in these applied fields, in turn, contributes to progress, especially thanks to work on evolution in
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , and . Computer science ...
and engineering fields such as
mechanical engineering Mechanical engineering is an engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineerin ...

mechanical engineering
.


Different types of evolution


Convergent evolution

Convergent evolution Convergent evolution is the independent evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; eithe ...
is defined as the process in which related or distantly related organisms evolve independently. This type of evolution creates analogous structures which have a similar function, structure, or form. For example, sharks and dolphins look alike but they are not related. Likewise, birds, flying insects, and bats all have the ability to fly, but they are not related to each other.


Co-evolution

The influence of two closely associated species is known as
co-evolution In biology, coevolution occurs when two or more species reciprocally affect each other's evolution through the process of natural selection. The term sometimes is used for two traits in the same species affecting each other's evolution, as well a ...
. When two or more species evolve in company with each other, one species adapts to changes in other species. This type of evolution often happens in species that have
symbiotic relationships
symbiotic relationships
. For example, predator-prey coevolution, this is the most common type of co-evolution. In this, the predator must evolve to become more effective hunter because there is a selective pressure on the prey to steer clear of capture. likewise, the relationship between pollinating insects like bees and flowering plants, herbivores and plants, are also some common examples.


Adaptive evolution

Adaptive evolution In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their Fitness (biology), evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the popula ...

Adaptive evolution
relates to evolutionary changes that happen due to the changes in the environment, this makes the organism suitable to its habitat. This change increases the chances of survival and reproduction of the organism. For example,
Darwin’s Finches
Darwin’s Finches
on Galapagos island developed different shaped beaks in order to survive for a long time.


Mechanism: The process of evolution

The mechanism of evolution focus mainly on Mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, non-random mating, and natural selection. Mutation:
Mutation In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechan ...
is a change in the
DNA sequence DNA sequencing is the process of determining the nucleic acid sequence A nucleic acid sequence is a succession of bases signified by a series of a set of five different letters that indicate the order of nucleotides Nucleotides are organic ...

DNA sequence
inside a gene or a chromosome of an organism. Most mutation are neutral, i.e. they can neither harm nor benefit, but can also be harmful or beneficial sometimes. Genetic drift:
Genetic drift Genetic drift (allelic drift or the Sewall Wright effect) is the change in the frequency of an existing gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_inheritance#History, M ...

Genetic drift
is a variational process, it happens as a result of the sampling errors from one generation to another generation where a random event that happens by chance in nature changes or influences allele frequency within a population. Gene flow:
Gene flow In , gene flow (also known as gene migration or geneflow and flow) is the transfer of material from one to another. If the rate of gene flow is high enough, then two populations will have equivalent allele frequencies and therefore can be cons ...

Gene flow
is the transfer of genetic material from the gene pool of one population to another. In a population, migration occurs from one species to another, resulting in the change of frequency. Natural selection: The survival and reproductive rate of a species depends on the adaptability of the species to their environment. This process is called
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
. Some species with certain traits in a population have higher survival and reproductive rate than others, and they pass on these genetic features to their offsprings.


Evolutionary developmental biology

In evolutionary developmental biology the different processes of development can play a role in how a specific organism reaches its current body plan. The genetic regulation of ontogeny and the phylogenetic process is what allows for this kind of understanding of biology to be possible. Looking at different processes during development, and going through the evolutionary tree, one can determine at which point a specific structure came about. For example, the three germ layers can be observed to not be present in cnidarians and ctenophores, which instead present in worms, being more or less developed depending on the kind of worm itself. Other structures like the development of Hox genes and sensory organs such as eyes can also be traced with this practice.


History

The idea of
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
by
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
was proposed by
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
in 1859, but evolutionary biology, as an
academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fact is ...
in its own right, emerged during the period of the modern synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s. It was not until the 1980s that many universities had departments of evolutionary biology. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, many universities have created departments of ''molecular and cell biology'' or ''ecology and evolutionary biology'', in place of the older departments of
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
and
zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
.
Palaeontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
is often grouped with
earth science Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Ta ...
.
Microbiology Microbiology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Microbiology
too is becoming an evolutionary discipline, now that microbial physiology and
genomics Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interact ...
are better understood. The quick
generation timeIn population biology and demography, generation time is the average time between two consecutive generations in the lineages of a population In biology, a population is a number of all the organisms of the same group or species In bio ...

generation time
of bacteria and
virus A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecu ...

virus
es such as
bacteriophage A bacteriophage (), also known informally as a ''phage'' (), is a virus A virus is a that only inside the living of an . Viruses infect all , from animals and plants to s, including and . Since 's 1892 article describing a non-b ...

bacteriophage
s makes it possible to explore evolutionary questions. Many biologists have contributed to shaping the modern discipline of evolutionary biology.
Theodosius Dobzhansky Theodosius Grygorovych Dobzhansky ( uk, Теодо́сій Григо́рович Добжа́нський; russian: Феодо́сий Григо́рьевич Добржа́нский; January 25, 1900 – December 18, 1975) was a prominent Ukra ...
and E. B. Ford established an empirical research programme.
Ronald Fisher Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher (17 February 1890 – 29 July 1962) was a British polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a subs ...
,
Sewall Wright Sewall Green Wright FRS(For) H FRSE (December 21, 1889March 3, 1988) was an American geneticist known for his influential work on evolutionary theory Evolutionary thought, the recognition that species change over time and the perceived unde ...

Sewall Wright
, and J. S. Haldane created a sound theoretical framework.
Ernst Mayr Ernst Walter Mayr (; 5 July 1904 – 3 February 2005) was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists File:Francesco Redi.jpg, Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all ti ...
in
systematics Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), or ...
,
George Gaylord Simpson George Gaylord Simpson (June 16, 1902 – October 6, 1984) was a United States, US paleontologist. Simpson was perhaps the most influential paleontologist of the twentieth century, and a major participant in the Modern synthesis (20th century), mo ...

George Gaylord Simpson
in paleontology and G. Ledyard Stebbins in
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
helped to form the modern synthesis. James Crow,
Richard Lewontin Richard Charles Lewontin (March 29, 1929 – July 4, 2021) was an American evolutionary biologist Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes ( natural selection, common descent, speciation) that ...
, Dan Hartl,
Marcus Feldman Marcus William Feldman (born 14 November 1942) is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Biological Sciences, director of the Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, and co-director of the Center for Computational, ...
, and
Brian Charlesworth Brian Charlesworth (born 29 April 1945) is a British evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh , latin_name = Universitas Academica Edinburgensis , image_name = University of Edinburgh ceremonial roundel.svg , image_size = 150 ...
trained a generation of evolutionary biologists.


Current research topics

Current research in evolutionary biology covers diverse topics and incorporates ideas from diverse areas, such as
molecular genetics Molecular genetics is a sub-field of biology that addresses how differences in the structures or expression of DNA molecules manifests as variation among organisms. Molecular genetics often applies an "investigative approach" to determine the ...
and
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , and . Computer science ...
. First, some fields of evolutionary research try to explain phenomena that were poorly accounted for in the modern evolutionary synthesis. These include
speciation Speciation is the evolution Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes that are ...

speciation
, the
evolution of sexual reproduction Sexual reproduction is an adaptive feature which is common to almost all multi-cellular organisms (and also some single-cellular organisms) with many being incapable of asexual reproduction, reproducing asexually. Prior to the advent of sexual ...
, the evolution of
cooperation Cooperation (written as co-operation in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial ...
, the
evolution of ageing Enquiry into the evolution of ageing, or aging, aims to explain why a detrimental process such as ageing would evolve, and why there is so much variability in the Maximum life span, lifespans of organisms. The classical theories of evolution (muta ...
, and
evolvability Evolvability is defined as the capacity of a system for adaptive evolution In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their Fitness ( ...
. Second, biologists ask the most straightforward evolutionary question: "what happened and when?". This includes fields such as
paleobiology Paleobiology (or palaeobiology) is a growing and comparatively new discipline which combines the methods and findings of the life science Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such ...
, as well as
systematics Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), or ...
and
phylogenetics In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanism ...

phylogenetics
. Third, the modern evolutionary synthesis was devised at a time when nobody understood the molecular basis of genes. Today, evolutionary biologists try to determine the
genetic architectureGenetic architecture is the underlying genetic basis of a phenotypic right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of petal color in pea plants. The letters B and b represent ...
of interesting evolutionary phenomena such as
adaptation In , adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits s to their environment, enhancing their . Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process. Thirdly, it is a or adapti ...

adaptation
and speciation. They seek answers to questions such as how many genes are involved, how large are the effects of each gene, how interdependent are the effects of different genes, what do the genes do, and what changes happen to them (e.g.,
point mutations A point mutation or substitution is a genetic mutation In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biolog ...

point mutations
vs.
gene duplication Gene duplication (or chromosomal duplication or gene amplification) is a major mechanism through which new genetic material is generated during molecular evolution Molecular evolution is the process of change in the sequence composition of c ...
or even genome duplication). They try to reconcile the high
heritability Heritability is a used in the fields of and that estimates the degree of ''variation'' in a in a that is due to between individuals in that population. It measures how much of the variation of a trait can be attributed to variation of geneti ...

heritability
seen in
twin studies Twin studies are studies conducted on identical or fraternal twins. They aim to reveal the importance of environmental and genetic influences for traits, phenotype In genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the ...
with the difficulty in finding which genes are responsible for this heritability using
genome-wide association studies In genetics Genetics is a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.Hartl D, Jones E (2005) Though heredity had been observed for millennia, Gregor Mendel, Moravia, Moravian scientist a ...
. One challenge in studying genetic architecture is that the classical
population genetics Population genetics is a subfield of that deals with genetic differences within and between s, and is a part of . Studies in this branch of examine such phenomena as , , and . Population genetics was a vital ingredient in the of the . Its pri ...
that catalysed the modern evolutionary synthesis must be updated to take into account modern molecular knowledge. This requires a great deal of mathematical development to relate DNA sequence data to evolutionary theory as part of a theory of
molecular evolution Molecular evolution is the process of change in the sequence composition of cellular molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings ...
. For example, biologists try to infer which genes have been under strong selection by detecting
selective sweeps
selective sweeps
. Fourth, the modern evolutionary synthesis involved agreement about which forces contribute to evolution, but not about their relative importance. Current research seeks to determine this. Evolutionary forces include
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
,
sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrat ...
,
genetic drift Genetic drift (allelic drift or the Sewall Wright effect) is the change in the frequency of an existing gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_inheritance#History, M ...

genetic drift
, genetic draft, developmental constraints, mutation bias and
biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geography, geographic space and through evolutionary history of life, geological time. Organisms and biological communities often vary in a regular fashion along geograp ...

biogeography
. An evolutionary approach a is key to much current research in organismal biology and
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
, such as in
life history theory Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological process Biological processes are those processes that are vital for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανι ...
. Annotation of genes and their function relies heavily on comparative approaches. The field of evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo") investigates how developmental processes work, and compares them in different organisms to determine how they evolved. Many
physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintainin ...

physician
s do not have enough background in evolutionary biology, making it difficult to use it in modern medicine.


Drug resistance today

Evolution plays a role in resistance of drugs; for example, how HIV becomes resistant to medications and the body's immune system. The mutation of resistance of HIV is due to the natural selection of the survivors and their offspring. The one HIV that survived the immune system reproduced and had offspring that were also resistant to the immune system.  Drug resistance also causes many problems for patients such as a worsening sickness or the sickness can mutate into something that can no longer be cured with medication. Without the proper medicine, a sickness can be the death of a patient. If their body has resistance to a certain number of drugs, then the right medicine will be harder and harder to find. Not completing the prescribed full course of antibiotic is also an example of resistance that will cause the bacteria against which the antibiotic is being taken to evolve and continue to spread in the body. When the full dosage of the medication does not enter the body and perform its proper job, the bacteria that survive the initial dosage will continue to reproduce. This can make for another bout of sickness later on that will be more difficult to cure because the bacteria involved will be resistant to the first medication used. Taking the full course of medicine that is prescribed is a vital step in avoiding antibiotic resistance. Individuals with chronic illnesses, especially those that can recur throughout a lifetime, are at greater risk of antibiotic resistance than others. This is because overuse of a drug or too high of a dosage can cause a patient's immune system to weaken and the illness will evolve and grow stronger. For example, cancer patients will need a stronger and stronger dosage of medication because of their low functioning immune system.


Journals

Some
scientific journal In academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work is published in academic journal articles, books or thesis' form. The part of academic written ...
s specialise exclusively in evolutionary biology as a whole, including the journals ''
Evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...
'', ''
Journal of Evolutionary Biology The ''Journal of Evolutionary Biology'' is a bimonthly peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qua ...
'', and ''
BMC Evolutionary Biology ''BMC Evolutionary Biology'' is a peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a p ...
''. Some journals cover sub-specialties within evolutionary biology, such as the journals ''
Systematic Biology Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), o ...
'', ''
Molecular Biology and Evolution ''Molecular Biology and Evolution'' is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. It publishes work in the intersection of molecular biology and evolu ...
'' and its sister journal ''Genome Biology and Evolution'', and ''
Cladistics Cladistics (; ) is an approach to biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular ...
''. Other journals combine aspects of evolutionary biology with other related fields. For example, ''
Molecular Ecology Molecular ecology is a field of evolutionary biology that is concerned with applying molecular population genetics, molecular phylogenetics, and more recently genomics to traditional ecology, ecological questions (e.g., species diagnosis, conserv ...
'', '' Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B'', ''
The American Naturalist ''The American Naturalist'' is the monthly peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified membe ...
'' and '' Theoretical Population Biology'' have overlap with ecology and other aspects of organismal biology. Overlap with ecology is also prominent in the review journals ''
Trends in Ecology and Evolution Trend, trending, or trends may refer to: Data patterns and forecasting *Fad A fad is any form of collective behavior The expression collective behavior was first used by Franklin Henry and employed later by Robert E. , Herbert , Ralph H ...
'' and ''
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics The ''Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics'' is an annual scientific journal In academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work ...
''. The journals ''
Genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, ...
'' and ''
PLoS Genetics ''PLOS Genetics'' is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal established in 2005 and published by the Public Library of Science. The founding editor-in-chief was Wayne N. Frankel (Columbia University Medical Center). The current editors-in-ch ...
'' overlap with molecular genetics questions that are not obviously evolutionary in nature.


See also

* Artificial selection * Comparative anatomy * Computational phylogenetics * Evolutionary computation * Evolutionary dynamics * Evolutionary neuroscience * Evolutionary physiology * * ''On the Origin of Species'' * Macroevolution * Phylogenetic comparative methods * Quantitative genetics * Selective breeding * Taxonomy (biology) * Speculative evolution


References


External links

*
Evolution And Paleobotany
a
Britannica
{{DEFAULTSORT:Evolutionary Biology Evolutionary biology, Philosophy of biology