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E Mayr, one of the 20th century’s greatest scientists and a principal author of the modern theory of evolution, passed away on February 3, 2005, at the age of 100. From December 16 to 18, 2004, before Mayr’s passing, a colloquium on ‘‘Systematics and the Origin of Species’’ sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences was held in his honor. The(More)
Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900–1975) was a key author of the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, also known as the Modern Synthesis of Evolutionary Theory, which embodies a complex array of biological knowledge centered around Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection couched in genetic terms. The epithet ‘‘synthetic’’ primarily alludes to the artful(More)
A natural (evolutionary) classification is provided for 242 basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) motif-containing proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of amino acid sequences describe the patterns of evolutionary change within the motif and delimit evolutionary lineages. These evolutionary lineages represent well known functional groups of proteins and can be further(More)
There are many problems relating to defining the terminology used to describe various biological relationships and getting agreement on which definitions are best. Here, I examine 15 terminological problems, all of which are current, and all of which relate to the usage of homology and its associated terms. I suggest a set of definitions that are intended(More)
The vertebrate evolution of four proteins (6 andβ hemoglobins, cytochromec, and fibrinopeptide A) is examined via a maximum likelihood procedure. The fundamental hypothesis is that the process of nucleotide substitution as revealed by the minimum phyletic distance procedure (Fitch, 1971) is Poisson with a constant time average for each protein. The method(More)
We have studied the HA1 domain of 254 human influenza A(H3N2) virus genes for clues that might help identify characteristics of hemagglutinins (HAs) of circulating strains that are predictive of that strain's epidemic potential. Our preliminary findings include the following. (i) The most parsimonious tree found requires 1,260 substitutions of which 712 are(More)
If one has the amino acid sequences of a set of homologous proteins as well as their phylogenetic relationships, one can easily determine the minimum number of mutations (nucleotide replacements) which must have been fixed in each codon since their common ancestor. It is found that for 29 species of cytochrome c the data fit the assumption that there is a(More)