Reader Comments

Domain combinations vs. probabilistic resources

by Jiří Vácha (2011-03-14)


As I understand it now, a haphazard combination of two independent protein domains has only a very small chance to be functional ("adaptive"). It seems to me that the question whether the evolution of the realm of existing proteins could be explained in the selectionist´s manner could perhaps be solved in a quite analogical way as you are describing in connection with the primary structure of protein molecules. I.e., to compare the number of the theoretically possible variations of any two existing domains (may be, structural motifs) with the "probabilistic resources" which were at the disposal. Only when the possible variations outweighed massively the probabilistic resources, could the selectionist´s explanation be regarded falsified. As a non-expert in the field I do not dare to guess if such an endeavor is operational.



functional possibilities vs. theoretical possibilities

by Douglas Axe (2011-03-14)


It's not clear to me what you mean by "theoretically possible variations of any two existing domains," but I certainly agree that the possibilities are sparsely sampled whenever they greatly

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