Lecture 9 - The Evolution of Sex

author: Stephen C. Stearns, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 17, 2010,   recorded: February 2009,   views: 3308
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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There are several explanations for the evolution of sex and its continued prevalence. One is facilitating the spread of helpful mutations while hastening the removal of harmful ones. Another is expediting resistance against pathogens. Sex does have several costs compared to asex, such as only giving half your genome to offspring, having to find mates, and the risk of predation and STDs. Overall, the benefits outweigh the costs and sex has a firm hold on the majority of the recent branches of the tree of life.

Reading assignment:

Stearns, Stephen C. and Rolf Hoekstra. Evolution: An Introduction, chapter 8

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