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The Origins of Evolutionary Innovations


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Table of Contents

1: Introduction 2: Metabolic innovation 3: Innovation through regulation 4: Novel molecules 5: The origins of evolutionary innovation 6: Genotype networks, self-organization, and natural selection 7: A synthesis of neutralism and selectionism 8: The role of robustness for innovation 9: Gene duplications and innovation 10: The role of recombination 11: Environmental change in adaptation and innovation 12: Evolutionary constraints and genotype spaces 13: Phenotypic plasticity and innovation 14: Towards continuous genotype spaces 15: Evolvable technology and innovation 16: Summary and outlook Bibliography Index

About the Author

Andreas Wagner is professor in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute for the study of Complex Systems. His main research interest is the evolution of biological systems, from genes to complex biological networks with thousands of components. He received his Ph.D in 1995 at Yale University, and has since held research fellowships at several institutions, such as the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, Germany, and the Institut des Hautes Etudes in Bures-sur-Yvette, France. Author of more than 100 scientific publications and two books, he has lectured widely worldwide. He is a member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology, as well as of the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including Bioessays, BMC Evolutionary biology, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, and Molecular and Developmental Evolution.


This book will surely be influential with the next generation of evolutionary biologists, who will be able to digest and then apply the significance of a network-centric view of adaptation. Such a perspective will be essential for interpreting the increasing number of empirical studies that recapitulate evolutionary innovations in laboratory experiments. But even those molecular and evolutionary biologists who do not actively work on problems of innovation will benefit from the clarity of Wagner's theoretical arguments, and the inspiring wealth of empirical examples that demonstrate a new way to think of the dynamics of adaptation. * Bioessays *

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