In news out today:
"Mutations, which occur when DNA is damaged and left unrepaired, are the major fuel of evolution. A central assumption of Darwin’s theory of evolution is that they arise randomly, and that only natural selection determines which genes change more quickly and which more slowly in the course of evolution. This core assumption has now been upended.
“We always thought of mutations appearing solely by chance across the genome,” says Grey Monroe, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences and first author of the paper. “It now turns out that the pattern of mutation is not only very non-random, but also that it’s non-random in a way that benefits the plant.”
“This is a completely novel perspective on mutation and the way evolution works,” comments Detlef Weigel, scientific director at the Max Planck Institute for Biology and senior author of the study."