Saturday, July 09, 2011

Scientists discover the point of sex - Telegraph


Experts at the University of Indiana may have provided the best evidence yet after engineering two types of worms, some which could only reproduce by mating with each other and some could only clone themselves.

After exposing them to a harmful bacteria, worms that reproduced through sex survived fairly well while those that were asexual died rapidly.

Co-author Curtis Lively said: "The Red Queen Hypothesis predicts that sex should allow hosts to evade infection from their parasites, whereas self-fertilisation may increase the risk of infection.

"The coevolutionary struggle between hosts and their parasites could explain the existence of males."

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