Public Release: 

Dec. 12 meeting on lateral gene transfer

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Darwin viewed the evolution of life on Earth as branching out like a tree, with inheritance and diversification of genetic elements occurring in a linear fashion. However, as the genomes of many microbes and animals have been sequenced, scientists have discovered that biodiversity also appears to result from lateral transfers of heritable elements among various species. These transfers range from small gene fragments to intact genes to portions of whole genomes.

As part of its Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium series, the National Academy of Sciences will bring together leading researchers in comparative genomics to discuss lateral gene transfer, its implications for our understanding of evolution, and its significance to humans.

DETAILS: Tapestry of Life: Lateral Gene Transfer Dec. 12 and 13 at the Academies' Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center, 100 Academy Drive, Irvine, Calif. A preliminary program, list of speakers, and registration information is available online at

REPORTERS: REGISTER IN ADVANCE by contacting Alyssa Cruz, Sackler Colloquia, 949-387-2923, or e-mail


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