Christoph Adami

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Much recent work has explored molecular and population-genetic constraints on the rate of protein sequence evolution. The best predictor of evolutionary rate is expression level, for reasons that have remained unexplained. Here, we hypothesize that selection to reduce the burden of protein misfolding will favor protein sequences with increased robustness to(More)
To make a case for or against a trend in the evolution of complexity in biological evolution, complexity needs to be both rigorously defined and measurable. A recent information-theoretic (but intuitively evident) definition identifies genomic complexity with the amount of information a sequence stores about its environment. We investigate the evolution of(More)
A long-standing challenge to evolutionary theory has been whether it can explain the origin of complex organismal features. We examined this issue using digital organisms--computer programs that self-replicate, mutate, compete and evolve. Populations of digital organisms often evolved the ability to perform complex logic functions requiring the coordinated(More)
Darwinian evolution favours genotypes with high replication rates, a process called 'survival of the fittest'. However, knowing the replication rate of each individual genotype may not suffice to predict the eventual survivor, even in an asexual population. According to quasi-species theory, selection favours the cloud of genotypes, interconnected by(More)
Digital organisms are computer programs that self-replicate, mutate and adapt by natural selection. They offer an opportunity to test generalizations about living systems that may extend beyond the organic life that biologists usually study. Here we have generated two classes of digital organism: simple programs selected solely for rapid replication, and(More)
Arguments for or against a trend in the evolution of complexity are weakened by the lack of an unambiguous definition of complexity. Such definitions abound for both dynamical systems and biological organisms, but have drawbacks of either a conceptual or a practical nature. Physical complexity, a measure based on automata theory and information theory, is a(More)
This article introduces the physics of information in the context of molecular biology and genomics. Entropy and information, the two central concepts of Shannon’s theory of information and communication, are often confused with each other but play transparent roles when applied to statistical ensembles (i.e., identically prepared sets) of symbolic(More)
We present a simple theory that uses thermodynamic parameters to predict the probability that a protein retains the wild-type structure after one or more random amino acid substitutions. Our theory predicts that for large numbers of substitutions the probability that a protein retains its structure will decline exponentially with the number of(More)
Several studies have suggested that proteins that interact with more partners evolve more slowly. The strength and validity of this association has been called into question. Here we investigate how biases in high-throughput protein–protein interaction studies could lead to a spurious correlation. We examined the correlation between evolutionary rate and(More)