Cellular Consequences of Evolution

Cellular Consequences of Evolution

A. Malcolm Campbell, Christopher Paradise

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Once the first cell arose on Earth, how did genetic diversity arise if DNA replication and cell division generate exact copies? The answer is that neither process is perfect and that changes do occur at each step. Some changes are small and subtle while others are large and dramatic. As DNA mutates, evolution of a population takes place. But when can someone determine if a single species has changed enough to be considered two separate species? How is a species defined and is this definition useful in the real world? Real biological data will be examined to confront and answer these questions. Finally, the book examines an example of evolution that takes place in humans on a regular basis—the mammalian immune system. White blood cells evolve rapidly to confront any substance that enters a body and is perceived as a threat. With each exposure, these cells get better and better at neutralizing the threat.

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A. Malcolm Campbell

A. Malcolm Campbell teaches biology at Davidson College, NC. He received national and international education awards: Genetics Society of America (2013); American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012); and American Society for Cell Biology (2006). He was the founding co-editor in chief of CBE Life Sciences Education; founding director of Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT); and member of the American Society for Cell Biology governing council (2012–2014).

Christopher J. Paradise

Christopher J. Paradise is professor of biology and environmental studies at Davidson College. He teaches introductory biology, ecology, entomology, and topical seminars on ecotoxicology and renewable natural resources. He also occasionally leads a study abroad program in India.  His research evaluates anthropogenic factors that influence insect biodiversity at a variety of scales.  His current research interests include effects of land use patterns on pollinator communities in parks.