How on Earth can Aliens Survive? Concept and Case Study
Abstract: Robustness in evolutionary biology is a well-established concept, which roughly encapsulates the intuition that organisms can undergo genetic, and be exposed to environmental perturbations without significant changes to their phenotype. This characteristic ensure, for example, the ability of multicellular organisms to develop, and maintain fidelity to differentiated phenotypes under distinct initial environmental conditions which is crucial for the maintenance of a robust, complex functional phenotype through somatic time.
This seminar will focus on the evolutionary causes and consequences of robustness and its breakdown (both genetic and environmental) with an aim to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanism behind the loss of phenotypic fidelity, with or without selection. Though conceptual, such understanding may leads to a more parsimonious explanation of the emergence and progression of complex diseases such as the transition for tumor to metastatic stage.