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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • This reminds me of a phenomenon in genetics I was reading about in wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_drift [wikipedia.org]

    "In population genetics, genetic drift is the statistical effect that results from the influence that chance has on the survival of alleles (variants of a gene). The effect may cause an allele and the biological trait that it confers to become more common or more rare over successive generations. Ultimately, the drift may either remove the allele from the gene pool or remove all other alleles. Whereas natural selection is the tendency of beneficial alleles to become more common over time (and detrimental ones less common), genetic drift is the fundamental tendency of any allele to vary randomly in frequency over time due to statistical variation alone, so long as it does not comprise all or none of the distribution."

    "Given sufficiently long time, however, the mathematics of genetic drift (cf. Galton-Watson process) predict the allele will either die out or be present in 100% of the population, after which time there is no random variation in the associated gene. Thus genetic drift tends to sweep gene variants out of a population over time, such that all members of a species would eventually be homozygous for this gene. In this regard, genetic drift opposes genetic mutation which introduces novel variants into the population according to its own random processes."