How do you watch evolution in action?
Posted by c. wagner on October 20, 2009
Spotted this fascinating tidbit over at Derren Brown’s blog:
Charles Darwin’s seminal Origin of Species first laid out the case for evolution exactly 150 years ago. Now, MSU professor Richard Lenski and colleagues document the process in their analysis of 40,000 generations of bacteria, published this week in the international science journal Nature.
While Darwin’s theory of natural selection is supported by other studies, it has never before been studied for so many cycles and in such detail.
The study has tracked a colony of E. coli for 21 years and watched them mutate and evolve. Some of the mutations were advantageous, some weren’t. But the bacteria with the advantages steadily come to dominate the colony.
Natural selection in a bottle. How cool is that?