Cheating, and Getting Away With It: It Works

Science Daily:

Jan. 10, 2013 — We would all like to believe that there is a kind of karma in life that guarantees those who cheat eventually pay for their bad behavior, if not immediately, then somewhere down the line. But a study of a new gene in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideumsuggests that, at least for amoebae, it is possible to cheat and get away with it.

Scientists have found a gene that allows amoebae to pass on more than their fair share of their genes but doesn’t make them less fit in other ways.

The experimental work was conducted by then graduate student Lorenzo Santorelli as part of a collaboration between evolutionary biologists David C. Queller and Joan E. Strassmann of Rice University and Gadi Shaulsky and Adam Kuspa of Baylor College of Medicine. Santorelli has since moved to Oxford University and his advisors to Washington University in St. Louis, where Queller is the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology and Strassmann is a professor of biology, both in Arts & Sciences.

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Categories: Research, Science

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