He explained that the conclusion of that early work –– the finding that genes that encode a synapse are present in the sponge –– has important implications. “The conclusion of that paper said that what evolution did was exaptation,” said Kosik. “This is a very important technical word. Evolution takes something that was evolved for one purpose and uses it for something else. Nature used this still-mysterious sponge structure to make the synapse, an exaptation of certain genes, which then became a key part of the nervous system.”
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