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Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

Do they exist? Yes What are they called? Marilyn Roossinck calls them viral mutualistic symbiotes. She has an excellent review here. What are some examples? My personal favorite is GB-Virus C, or ...
De Novo's user avatar
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46 votes
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How could a species be engineered to go extinct?

Short answer The article in particular that you reference is discussing the possibility of using a mechanism called gene drive. The concept of gene drive breaks the normal "rules" of inheritance and ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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27 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

Another good virus would be a Bacteriophage, a virus that infects and kills illness-causing bacteria. From Wiki: A bacteriophage also known informally as a phage, is a virus that infects and ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
18 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

I would say that if any "good" viruses exist, they are already within us. Retrotransposons are genetic elements in our DNA that were likely ancient viruses and they move around from time to time ...
user40950's user avatar
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18 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

We have engineered a few good viruses to treat certain diseases Per my comment and response: The most current example (at this time and based on my recollection) is the virus we have engineered to ...
Reginald Blue's user avatar
15 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

Cowpox and smallpox viruses are structurally similar, and catching one confers immunity to both by immune system response, but one was a deadly disease and the other almost harmless. Once this was ...
Joshua's user avatar
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14 votes
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What is the definition of "Natural Selection"?

Official definition Is there an official definition of natural selection that is adopted by biologists nowadays? and what is that definition exactly? I don't think there is such a concept as an "...
Remi.b's user avatar
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13 votes

What is the difference between the evolution of fins in whales and fish?

I agree with you that the question is ambiguous, and also that the most sensible answer would be C. However, one could make a more or less reasonable argument in favor of several other answers, too. ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
12 votes

Are there real world examples of one way isolation between two populations?

You might want to look for asymmetric dispersal. Asymmetric dispersal has been found in many freshwater fishes (such as bullhead; Junker 2012), freshwater mussel (Terui et al., 2014) and in marine ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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11 votes

What is meant by `individuals do not evolve, populations do`?

The statement individuals do not evolve, populations do is rooted in the (classical population genetic) definition of evolution. Here is this definition: ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why do many people seem to prefer unhealthy compared to healthy foods?

It's a very simple answer. "Unhealthy" foods, for example potato chips, sugary drinks, and other fatty, cheesy or sugary edible items, have only been around a few hundred (at most) years. In ...
Malhar Khushu's user avatar
10 votes

Is hunting animals, crafting and attacking/defending from enemies intellectually equivalent to learning quantum physics?

Addressing some assumptions/presumptions apparently present in the question (this might be too long for a comment): First, natural selection has not stopped. The sexual selection might be more active ...
Eugene Ryabtsev's user avatar
9 votes

Is this a counter-example to Darwin's theory of evolution?

Darwin cited the giraffe as an outstanding example of natural selection. Supposedly, as a result of extended droughts, the supply of green leaves could be obtained only at the top of the trees, and ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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9 votes

Do Traits Have to be Adaptive in Order to Survive?

Good question. And good analysis. I have little to add! I'll simply provide my own list of thoughts to complement your ideas, which are not mutually exclusive. The fact that it wasn't discarded ...
S Pr's user avatar
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8 votes

Empirical evidence for Group Selection?

Let's start with your definition. "Selection for traits that would be beneficial to a population of units at the expense of an individual unit possessing the trait" This is not a good definition of ...
Michael Andrew Bentley's user avatar
8 votes

Why do some bad traits evolve, and good ones don't?

All the previous answers are very good. However, I feel a point was missed (or maybe I didn't read deeply enough). I will highlight the concept of fitness landscapes. This is how it looks: The peaks ...
8 votes

What is the definition of "Natural Selection"?

I've adapted your definitions to another process that I think will be less controversial to you. Eating is the intake of food by taking into the mouth, chewing, and swallowing. Eating, the process ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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7 votes

Ways to distinguish between purifying selection and selective sweep

Welcome to Biology.SE! I actually recently went through the literature on this and similar subject, so I'll be happy to answer. The answer will not be easy to formulate as a number of authors are ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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7 votes
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Meaning of phrase with term, "intelligent design"

Please first note that Noah Harari is not a scientist but a historian. What does he mean by "intelligent design"? Intelligent design is a set of fallacies invented by christian extremists to try to ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is this a counter-example to Darwin's theory of evolution?

Giraffe necks being long because of 'reaching' is false. The neck size is due sexual selection. The writer of the paragraph fundamentally misunderstood Darwin, he never argued that the act of ...
Artem's user avatar
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6 votes

Is hunting animals, crafting and attacking/defending from enemies intellectually equivalent to learning quantum physics?

You seem to think that living in the natural environment is "easy". But, even when the climate helps, even when you have no war to fight or defend against, even so you have to know the habits of the ...
Rodrigo's user avatar
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6 votes
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How does natural selection process escape from local optima?

From your profile, I see that you have some knowledge in computer science so I will try to use some terms from the field of machine learning! Natural Selection Natural Selection (NS) can only lead a ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is the difference between the evolution of fins in whales and fish?

Short answer d) is definitely correct. Background The crucial element is that whales returned from land to the sea and re-evolved fins. a) is incorrect, as the common ancestor may not have had fins. ...
AliceD's user avatar
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6 votes
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How do we call a "burst of evolution"?

There are indeed periods of fast evolution and period of evolutionary stasis. The term "burst of evolution" is never used in the literature but below are three common terms when discussing these ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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6 votes

Are inadvertent environmental catastrophes also examples of natural selection?

The idea according to Darwin is that the slightest harmful effect a hereditary trait(s) would bring to a population then with time it would result in extinction of the population with that trait(s)...
swbarnes2's user avatar
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5 votes

Why do some bad traits evolve, and good ones don't?

Richard Dawkins devoted an entire chapter of The Extended Phenotype to this question, Constraints on Perfection (the third chapter in the edition I have to hand); he listed six (not including those he ...
5 votes

Tumor-suppression, cell differentiation, and apoptosis: How do macroevolutionists justify dismissing such strong evidence for intelligent design?

You are mixing up a bunch of different subjects so that your question is very broad. The post should be closed as too broad.. I will just briefly say a few words about each misunderstanding and ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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5 votes

How does natural selection explain how organisms that are poisonous evolved?

There is a lot to say on this question. I will try to keep it short, to the risk of oversimplifying the problem. I can think of three main reasons: 1. Predation does not necessarily means death of ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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5 votes
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About lack of selective pressure

Often the phenotype caused by a given allele depends on the alleles present in other genes; this is termed epistasis. In the context of tumors, selective pressure is primarily associated with the ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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5 votes

Are inadvertent environmental catastrophes also examples of natural selection?

Natural selection is an important part of evolution, but not the only part Evolution is described as changes in heritable characteristics over time: you can look at changes in allele frequencies and ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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