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Digital Organisms Shed Light on Mystery of Altruism

Digital organisms self-replicate with different fitness levels and fill empty spaces.

Researchers study the evolution of altruism with evolutionary processes inside a computer. Here, digital organisms in Avida self-replicate and fill empty spaces (black). Mutations can occur during reproduction, which often creates organisms with different fitness levels (represented by different colors). Over many generations, those mutations that happen to create more fit organisms tend to be selected for, as in naturally evolving populations.

Credit: Kaben Nanlohy, Michigan State University

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