Deadline for Outline: October 10th (or before)

The outline should include the overall structure of the essay (e.g., introduction, thesis, antithesis, synthesis, conclusion) AND a collection of the ideas that you plan to cover in the different parts.

Deadline for the 1st Draft: November 19th (or before)

Deadline for final version: December 9th (or before)

Possible Topics:

What are the units of natural selection? Genes, Organisms, Communities

Can the genome be considered as an ecosystem?

Can ecological concepts be applied to relations between genes? (symbiosis, mutualism, parasitism)

Discuss one or more examples of selfish genetic elements and molecular parasites making positive contributions to the host fitness on the long run (possible are inteins, introns, nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway, hedgehog proteins). In your essay include a brief discussion wether or not this contribution initially qualifies as a nearly neutral pathway towards higher complexity.


Items to think about:

Suggested reading: