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Title:What Darwin won't tell you about evolution - with Jonathan Pettitt

How did the complexity of life evolve? Was it via finely-tuned natural selection, or a more messy process altogether? Watch the Q&A for this video here: Subscribe for regular science videos: In this talk, Jonathan Pettitt explains how living systems tend to make simple mechanisms more complicated than they need to be. He will show how such ‘unnecessary complexity’ can both restrict and expand an organism’s evolutionary potential. Jonathan is the 2020 Genetics Society JBS Haldane Lecturer. The JBS Haldane Lecture recognises an individual for outstanding ability to communicate topical subjects in genetics research, widely interpreted, to an interested lay audience. This speaker will have a flair for conveying the relevance and excitement of recent advances in genetics in an informative and engaging way. This lecture was filmed at the Ri on 14 June 2022. 0:00 Intro and complexity in the visual system 4:43 Population genetics 5:59 What is genetic drift? 14:46 Where non-coding DNA came from 19:57 Self-splicing introns 22:50 How mechanism that saved eukaryotes 28:00 What C. elegans can teach us about genetics 30:14 How C. elegans translate DNA differently 39:01 Why trans-splicing is important 42:35 Using trans-splicing as a drug target 43:39 Constructive neutral evolution Jonathan Pettitt is a Professor in Genetics at the University of Aberdeen. He has a long-standing interest in applying the manifold advantages of C. elegans to study the genetics of basic animal biology. His current research investigates the molecular basis of post-transcriptional RNA processing, including nematode-specific mechanisms; the understanding of which may facilitate the development of new drugs to treat parasitic nematode infections. Jonathan is strongly committed to public engagement with genetics. He believes that the explosion in the availability and application of human genome sequence information, coupled with the development of genome engineering technology, means that there has never been a more urgent need to ensure genetic literacy beyond the traditional areas of research and healthcare. As a passionate and enthusiastic communicator of genetics, Jonathan has written and presented a broad range of events, including The ‘Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas’ at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Royal Institution, and science festivals in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Sofia, Bulgaria. He was the genetics consultant for Helen Keen’s book, ‘The Science of Game of Thrones’. ---- A very special thank you to our Patreon supporters who help make these videos happen, especially: Andy Carpenter, William Hudson, Richard Hawkins, Thomas Gønge, Don McLaughlin, Jonathan Sturm, Microslav Jarábek, Michael Rops, Supalak Foong, efkinel lo, Martin Paull, Ben Wynne-Simmons, Ivo Danihelka, Paulina Barren, Kevin Winoto, Jonathan Killin, Taylor Hornby, Rasiel Suarez, Stephan Giersche, William Billy Robillard, Scott Edwardsen, Jeffrey Schweitzer, Frances Dunne,, Tim Karr, Adam Leos, Alan Latteri, Matt Townsend, John C. Vesey, Andrew McGhee, Robert Reinecke, Paul Brown, Lasse T Stendan, David Schick, Joe Godenzi, Dave Ostler, Osian Gwyn Williams, David Lindo, Roger Baker, Greg Nagel, Rebecca Pan. --- The Ri is on Patreon: and Twitter: and Facebook: and TikTok: Listen to the Ri podcast: Our editorial policy: Subscribe for the latest science videos:


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