Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

A Protein Is Born

Cover of the March 2014 edition of Plant Cell. Artwork by Scot Nicholls, Domokun

Cover of the March 2014 edition of Plant Cell. Artwork by Scot Nicholls, Domokun Design.

By Joshua Mylne

It used to be thought that new proteins only evolved as a result of gradual changes to existing genes, but recent studies are showing that completely new genes and proteins often evolve suddenly. Now Australian researchers have predicted the biochemical events that allowed an enzyme-blocking protein to evolve “from scratch” in sunflowers.

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