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//// Since my doctoral study in California in the early 1990s, I have been focusing on the study of a new and major scientific problem: How does a gene originate and evolve? The approaches I have developed and are being used to investigate the new gene problem include theoretical, computational, and molecular experimental approaches. We are currently exploring following scientific issues:
#Phenotypic effects and functions of new genes;
#Evolution of gene essentiality in development;
#Evolutionary analysis of gene interactions with new genes;
#Sex selection and sexual conflict on new genes:
#De novo gene origination.
//// Our scientific works have been recorded in ~200 publications of research reports, commentaries, reviews, interviews and popular science articles with numerous reports of news media. 110 research articles are selected below. Most of their pdf files can be found in the lab website. Besides, five books and monographs were also published:
2021. How Do New Genes Originate and Evolve? Genes. With E. Beltran
2020. Walter Gilbert: Selected Works. 614 pages. World Scientific, Singapore. With W. Gilbert.
2019. Evolution of Genes and Genomes. 174 pages. Science China Life Science. With B. Shen
2010. Darwin’s Heritage Today. 385 pages. Higher Education Press. With H. Gu and Z. Zhou
2003. Origin and Evolution of New Gene Functions. Volume 10, Contemporary Issues in Genetics and Evolution. 202 pages. Kluwer Academic Publishers. The Netherlands.
//// Our works have generated scientific and societal impacts:
## Scientific impacts:
#The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) summarized my contribution when conferring me with a fellow honor (2014 AAAS Fellow) as “You are being honored: For distinguished contributions to the fields of molecular evolution and genetics, particularly for starting and leading the area of new gene evolution using experimental and computational genomics and molecular biology”.
#Our discovers have helped shape the new chapters and sections about new gene evolution in major textbooks pf evolutionary biology (e.g. Douglas Futuyma, 2009 and 2005, Evolution, Sinauer, Massachusetts; Michael Lynch, 2007, The Origins of Genome Architecture, Sinauer, Massachesetts; Wen-Hsiung Li, 1997, Molecular Evolution, Sinauer, Massachusetts; Roderic Page and Edward Holmes, 1998, Molecular Evolution. Blackwell Science London). Nature published a News Feature to highlight our discovery of a large number of de novo genes in Oryza (Levy, 2019. Genes from the Junkyard. Nature 574: 314-316).
## Societal impacts:
#New York Times, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, The Huffington Post, La Vanguardia, the New Scientist, the Scientist, Discover, La Recherche, Wen Hui Bao, and other news media in US, Europe, East Asia reported in various languages his scientific discovers and commentaries.
#Our research results summarized in a Nature Rev Genet article (Manyuan Long et al, 2003) were cited as major evidence for a successful defense of Amendment I to the United States Constitution in the nationally concerned case of Kitzmiller et al. vs. Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania in 2005.
#American Scientist published a feature popular science article by us to discuss de novo gene origination (Mortola and Long, 2021. New Genes Born to Junk. May-June Issue.) Quanta magazine published two interviews with me to discuss de novo gene origination and evolution of gene essentiality (Callier, 2020. Where do new genes come from. April 9. Callier, 2020. Scientists Find Vital Genes Evolving in Genome’s Junkyard. November 16.)