J Maynard Smith

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In this article, a method is proposed for detecting recombination in the sequences of a gene from a set of closely related organisms. The method, the Homoplasy Test, is appropriate when the sequences are rather similar, differing by 1%-5% of nucleotides. It is effective in detecting relatively frequent recombination between a set of rather similar strains,(More)
A classification of replicators is proposed: life depends on replicators that can exist in an indefinitely large number of forms (unlimited heredity), and whose replication is modular rather than processive. The first template replicators would have increased at a rate less than exponential, because of self-inhibition arising from molecular complementarity.(More)
Protein 1 (PI) is a major porin of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis and is encoded by a single locus, porB. Alleles of the porB locus of N. gonorrhoeae are assigned to two homology groups, PI(A) and PI(B), on the basis of immunological and structural similarity. In a like manner, alleles of the porB locus of the closely related bacterium, N.(More)
In higher plants, animals and fungi, there are two inheritance systems: the familiar system, depending on DNA sequence, used in transmitting information between sexual generations, and an epigenetic inheritance system, depending on gene activation, responsible for the transmission of states of differentiation during development. Occasionally, epigenetic(More)
Three models--the war of attrition, the size game and the badges of dominance game--are described, in which natural selection can maintain genetic variability for aggression. The models differ in whether or not the traits that settle contests are costly in contexts other than fighting, and also in whether signals are used. It is concluded that contests will(More)
Darwin's idea of evolution by natural selection is almost universally accepted by biologists, but debate continues about the units of selection. The history of this debate starts with Wynne-Edwards' arguments for group selection, and Hamilton's explantation of social behaviour in terms of the inclusive fitness of individuals. Hamilton's approach differs(More)
For any sexually reproducing entity (e.g. asexual organism, mitochondrion or gene), the fixation time is the number of generations in the future before all entities are descended from a single one in the present. The origin time is the number of generations in the past when a single entity was ancestral to all entities in the present. It is proved that,(More)
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