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Art Woods, Marty Martin
What is mutation bias? How does it affect evolution?
In this episode, we talk with Arlin Stoltzfus, a research fellow at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research. Arlin studies mutation bias – the idea that some types of mutations occur more often than others – and how these patterns can influence the evolutionary trajectories of populations. In the chat, we contrast this mutation-centric approach to evolution with more standard views in which selection does most of the creative heavy lifting. We center the talk around Arlin’s 2021 book - Mutation, Randomness, and Evolution, which offer a new conception of variation as a difference-maker in evolution. Looking forward, Arlin argues that a better understanding of mutation will make it easier to predict the origins and outcomes of different cancers and the evolution of infectious diseases and crop pests.
Cover photo: Keating Shahmehri
Length of Episode
1 hour, 6 minutes, 41 seconds
Digital File Format
Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 097: Mutation bias in evolution: climbing Mount Probable (with Arlin Stoltzfus)" (2023). BigBiology Podcasts. 99.