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date: 30 June 2022

p. 595. Evolutionary genomicslocked

p. 595. Evolutionary genomicslocked

  • John Archibald


We are still learning how to make sense of what genome sequences have to tell us. ‘Evolutionary genomics’ first considers the ‘molecular clock’, a bedrock concept underlying modern comparative genomic research. Molecular clocks can be inferred using both protein (amino acid) and DNA (nucleotide) sequences. It then looks at our understanding of Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA evolution before discussing the difficulties of extracting ancient DNA from fossils. Among the most remarkable achievements of ancient DNA research has been the sequencing of nuclear genomes from Neanderthals and other now-extinct human relatives, aiding research into what makes us human. The question of how eukaryotic cells evolved from prokaryotes is also considered.

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