- Broida 1640
Boris Shraiman, KITP, UCSB
Evolution works through natural selection that acts on genetic variation and a mounting body of evidence suggests that large populations harbor a great deal of such “selectable” variation. This fact presents a challenge to the molecular genetics approach to evolution, built on the assumption that the latter is driven by infrequent large effect mutations, which can be identified and studied one at a time. On the other hand, evolutionary dynamics driven by the collective effect of numerous polymorphisms at different genetic loci, each of which with only a small individual contribution, lends itself to a “Statistical Genetics” approach inspired by Statistical Mechanics. The talk will explain how this StatMech-driven approach leads to a predictive theory of evolutionary dynamics in rapidly evolving asexual populations and will demonstrate its capacity to predict, based on a sample of genomic sequences, the emerging strain of seasonal Influenza virus.