Natural Sciences >> Integrative Biology

Spread of Gene through a Population

by Tim Hartwick


Submitted : Spring 2015

From a genetic perspective, the purpose of life is to replicate one’s genes. Altruistic behavior is frequently observed among many species, yet does not appear to be conducive to improving an individual’s fitness. This paper uses the concept of kin selection and mathematical modeling to show how altruism could have been selected within a given population. The parameters for the model determine the minimum number of generations needed for the gene to spread within a hypothetical population. Like population growth, the spread of the gene for altruism throughout a population is best modeled by a logistic growth curve. This model can also be used to estimate the rate at which other genes spread throughout a population.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Keith Stokes, Integrative Biology
Suggested By :
Keith Stokes