Evidence for Evolution Molecular Biology Since Darwin's day, science has made astounding advances in the ways in which it can study organisms. One of the most useful advances has been the development of molecular biology. In this field, scientists look at the proteins and other molecules that control life processes. While these molecules can evolve just as an entire organism can, some important molecules are highly conserved among species. The slight changes that occur over time in these conserved molecules, which are often called molecular clocks, can help shed light on past evolutionary events. Molecular Clocks The key to using biological molecules as molecular clocks is the hypothesis of neutral evolution. This hypothesis states that most of the variability in molecular structure does not affect the molecule's functionality. This is because most of the variability occurs outside of the functional regions of the molecule. Changes that do not affect functionality are called "neutral substitutions" and their accumulation is not affected by natural selection. As a result, neutral
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2012 for the course BIOLOGY BSC1005 taught by Professor Rodriguez during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.