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 June 21, 2017

Werren Lab Uncovers New Gene Process in Wasp Venom

Amid the incredible diversity of living things on our planet, there is a common theme. Organisms need to acquire new genes, or change the functions of existing genes, in order to adapt and survive.

How does that happen?

A common view is that genes duplicate, with one of the copies picking up a new function while the other copy continues to function as before.

However, by studying tiny parasitic Jewel Wasps and their rapidly changing venom repertoires, the Werren Lab at the University of Rochester has uncovered a different process that may be widespread in other species as well.