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Genes, environment, or chance?

February 18, 2010

Biologists attribute variations among individual organisms to differences in genes or environment, or both. But a new study of nematode worms with identical genes, raised in identical environments, has revealed another factor: chance.

It’s another source of variation for scientists to consider. “Researchers have been exploring whether organisms evolve different ways to cope with genetic and environmental variation,” said author Scott Rifkin, an assistant professor of biology at UC San Diego. “This study adds random variation to that mix.”

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