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Article Date: 23 Sep 2010 – 1:00 PDT

Using digital evolution techniques that give scientists the ability to watch evolution in action, Michigan State University researchers have shed new light on what it is that makes species altruistic.

Defined as the ability to sacrifice yourself for the sake of others, altruism has been a bit of a genetic mystery. Understanding why altruism evolves is one of the fundamental challenges in evolutionary theory.

However, a paper published online in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society by researchers affiliated with MSU’s BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action has shed new light on the subject. This study marked the first time that scientists have been able to test such generalizations of kin selection theory.

“The ability to conduct research in digital systems enabled us to learn nuances of kin selection theory that may have been difficult to discover via evolutionary experiments in natural systems,” said team member Charles Ofria.

Read in Full:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/202092.php



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