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Derived characters are features in organisms that have been modified for specific functions as a result of evolution. They are used in cladistic analysis, which is a method of classifying organisms according to certain p... More »

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According to Lynne M. Clos of Fossil News, a derived character is an advanced trait that only appears in some members of an evolutionary group. An example of a derived character is the loss of a tail, a trait that first ... More »

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The genetic code is said to be universal because nearly all living organisms on Earth use the same four-letter code to direct their metabolic functions and build bodies. A single sequence of nucleotides is able to synthe... More »

www.reference.com Science Biology Molecular Biology & DNA
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Mutations in an individual or population are necessary for adaptation to the environment, which is the driving force behind evolution. Without natural mutations, living organisms would not progress or evolve as a populat... More »

www.reference.com Science Biology Molecular Biology & DNA

DNA supports evolution because all life on Earth carries DNA, and evolution happens only after DNA changes. These changes are called mutations and happen spontaneously from flawed DNA copying or from mutagens, such as X-... More »

www.reference.com Science Biology Molecular Biology & DNA

Endosymbiotic theory holds that chloroplasts and mitochondria came about through the evolution of blue-green algae and bacteria through endocytosis. Endocytosis occurs when a substance passes into a cell through the cell... More »

www.reference.com Science Biology Molecular Biology & DNA

Practical gel electrophoresis applications include typing bacteria, tracking the sources and spread of disease, monitoring bacterial evolution for vaccine design and confirming an identity in forensic cases. Gel electrop... More »

www.reference.com Science Biology Molecular Biology & DNA