It’s sex, Jim, but not as we know it

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I, for one, welcome our new asexual overlords

Humans and most other types of organism reproduce sexually. The union of sperm and eggs results in two copies (or a pair) of genetic instructions within a cell, one copy inherited from each parent.

This produces two nearly identical copies of each gene in each cell, and therefore two nearly identical proteins.

The “re-shuffling” of genetic material over many generations allows sexual animals to adapt to changes in their natural environment.

In contrast, many asexual organisms have died out because their rigid genetic make-up means they are unable to adapt in this way.

The latest discovery explains why the bdelloids have likely escaped this fate with their mechanism for generating genetic diversity in the absence of sexual reproduction.

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