Tracing the history of molecular changes using phylogenetic methods can provide powerful insights into how and why molecules work the way they do. It is now possible to recreate inferred ancestral proteins in the laboratory and study the function of these molecules. This provides a unique opportunity to study the paths and the mechanisms of functional change during molecular evolution. What insights have already emerged from such phylogenetic studies of protein evolution and function, what are the impediments to progress and what are the prospects for the future?.
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