On a new episode of ID the Future, host and evolutionary biologist Jonathan McLatchie sits down with software R&D engineer Jonathan Bartlett to discuss Bartlett’s work on the question of when genetic mutations are random versus directed. Bartlett explains that the issue isn’t an all-or-nothing affair. Often a given biological system dramatically limits the search space of possible mutations in useful ways, and then within that much more limited set of possible mutations, random processes are at play. He gives the example of antibody mutations. He argues that many biological systems show considerable evidence of having been beneficially designed for directed mutations. Why, then, are many mutations deleterious? He also has an answer for that. Tune in to learn more. Download the podcast or listen to it here.
Bartlett’s two peer-reviewed papers mentioned in this podcast are here and here. If you want to further benefit from Bartlett’s knack for making complex ideas accessible, check out his videos at the Blyth Institute.