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The propagation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARg) in our environment and resistant cancer clones in our bodies is a threat to human health. Even if current research and mitigation strategies apply evolutionary principles, we are still unable to decipher the mechanisms driving the fitness of resistant clones

View from across the disciplines​ of evolutionary geobiology

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of extracellular DNA preserved on surfaces have an unappreciated potential to influence evolution of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The transfer of extrinsic DNA stored on surfaces remains poorly understood. We claim this understudied evolutionary pathway represents a missing link to understanding evolutionary processes at the root of modern challenges. We find that a strong understanding of how surface-facilitated HGT1 contributes to heritable variation, both in nature and within the body will advance our insight to how both bacterial and cancer therapy resistance arise and may be managed.


We are addressing these questions using a synergy melding our perspectives, approaches, and individual expertise of the evolutionary geobiology consortium: 

Importance of extracellular DNA for evolution, a missing link

The project is fonded by Novo Nordisk Fonden through their Exploratory Interdisciplinary Synergy Programme. 

We will kick off in May 2024



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