Old Genes, New Tricks

For decades, scientists have understood that the process of evolution involves changes in protein-coding genes: mutations can change a gene's instructions, making it code for a protein with a slightly different function.

The modification of gene switches provides another avenue for evolutionary change. Often just a few base pairs long, switches regulate the timing, location, and level of protein expression—without affecting the protein itself. Small changes to switches can produce dramatic outcomes.

The evolution of new physical structures requires new genes.

Evolution frequently reuses old genes in new ways.

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  • Funding

    Funding provided by grant 51006109 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Precollege Science Education Initiative for Biomedical Research.

APA format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. (2013, July 1) Old Genes, New Tricks. Retrieved June 22, 2017, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/selection/newtricks/

CSE format:

Old Genes, New Tricks [Internet]. Salt Lake City (UT): Genetic Science Learning Center; 2013 [cited 2017 Jun 22] Available from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/selection/newtricks/

Chicago format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. "Old Genes, New Tricks." Learn.Genetics.July 1, 2013. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/selection/newtricks/.