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Re: CNN article on radical mutation/doomsday genes

John V Jackson wrote:

> But even if that's why bacteria seem to be increasing their mutation rate, I
> don't think what is really just failure of the heat shock defence mechanism
> can be thought of as "a useful evolutionary ploy", and certainly not "a
> central evolutionary process".

Please everyone try to remember that the primary purpose of the heat shock
proteins is not simply a heat shock defense mechanism. They act all the time as
chaperone proteins guiding protein folding in normal circumstances. Yes, they do
get kicked into high gear during heat stress, but they do very important work
besides that as well. It is not just failure of the heat shock defense
mechanism. That is like saying that a computer is simply a typewriter with a TV
screen. It is a bit early in te game for people to be making statements really
either pro or con about whether or not it is a central evolutionary process or a
useful evolutionary ploy. It may very well be, or it might not. The research has
barely gotten off the ground and it is nowhere near as simple as many would like
to make it.

Joe Daniel