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One of the first ecological adaptations discovered was an informational parasitism, in which the organism shed almost half of its own code, and replaced its function by executing the relevant code in neighboring organisms. These parasitic organisms could replicate almost twice as fast as their hosts, because they had to copy only half as much information from mother to daughter.

Figure 8:

A parasite (blue, two piece object) uses its CPU (blue sphere) to execute the code in the third gene of a neighboring host organism (green) to replicate itself, producing a daughter parasite (two-piece wire frame object).

Thomas S.Ray
Mon Jul 15 15:51:28 JST 1996