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    LinkFinder: An expert system that constructs phylogenic trees

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    An expert system has been developed using the C Language Integrated Production System (CLIPS) that automates the process of constructing DNA sequence based phylogenies (trees or lineages) that indicate evolutionary relationships. LinkFinder takes as input homologous DNA sequences from distinct individual organisms. It measures variations between the sequences, selects appropriate proportionality constants, and estimates the time that has passed since each pair of organisms diverged from a common ancestor. It then designs and outputs a phylogenic map summarizing these results. LinkFinder can find genetic relationships between different species, and between individuals of the same species, including humans. It was designed to take advantage of the vast amount of sequence data being produced by the Genome Project, and should be of value to evolution theorists who wish to utilize this data, but who have no formal training in molecular genetics. Evolutionary theory holds that distinct organisms carrying a common gene inherited that gene from a common ancestor. Homologous genes vary from individual to individual and species to species, and the amount of variation is now believed to be directly proportional to the time that has passed since divergence from a common ancestor. The proportionality constant must be determined experimentally; it varies considerably with the types of organisms and DNA molecules under study. Given an appropriate constant, and the variation between two DNA sequences, a simple linear equation gives the divergence time

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    Aid in Dying in Montana: Three Takeaways

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    Aid in Dying in Montana: Three Takeaways

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