Darwin-L Message Log 6:9 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<6:9>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Wed Feb  2 08:41:17 1994

Date: Wed, 2 Feb 1994 09:51:51 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: horizontal transfer

Hello Darwin list folk (DLF?),
        I am preparing a short lecture on reticulate patterns in evolution
and on "horizontal transfer" of genetic information.  My interest was
piqued by the results of "systemic gene expression after intravenous DNA
delevery into adult mice." (Zhu, et. al. Science v261, July 9, 1993).
        Subsequently I heard about experiments where flies of "different"
species were kept together and genes were seen to move from one group to
the other, supposedly because they carried the same parasitic mites (do any
of you have the reference for this).
        In my own work I spend lots of time and energy transfecting
mammalian cells lines with fancy constructs and I am impressed that this
may in fact happen "all the time" and easily (the Zhu result* is really
        I have also been reading the introduction Mayr and Provine's _The
evolutionary synthesis_ and am impressed that the climate for discussing
these kinds of phenomena would have been more conducive before the
synthesis.  And maybe only now with the distance of 5 decades is there
enough institutional forgetfullness so that these issues are reraised.
Though this may be a confused conclusion (thus my posting to this list) is
there a continuous strain of work on "lateral" transfer and reticulate
evolution that parallels the expansion of the "single tree of life" notion
(with its most potent endpoint in cladistics)?



*"A single intravenous injection of expression plasmid:cationic liposome
complexes into adult mice efficiently transfected virtually all tissues."

        Jeremy Creighton Ahouse
        Biology Dept. & Center for Complex Systems
        Brandeis University
        Waltham, MA 02254-9110

        (617) 736-4954
        email: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu
        Mail from Mac by Eudora 1.3.1 RIPEM/PGP accepted.

        "Si un hombre nunca se contradice, sera porque nunca dice nada"
                - Miguel de Unamuno

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