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The convergence of Mathematics, Evolution and Food Security

In the new journal eLife, Williams, Johnston, Covshoff and Hibberd report a new mathematical approach that provides a theoretical understanding of how one of the most complex traits in biology evolved. They studied the highly efficient C4 photosynthetic pathway that allows increased crop productivity, and developed a model based on Bayesian inference to predict how it evolved. The approach could be used to understand the appearance of other remarkable traits such as the eye, and will impact on strategies being taken to increase Food Security.