Friday, June 13, 2008

Awesome New Evolutionary Research.

Biologist Richard Lenski has something brewing. Actually, trillions of somethings. Since 1989 he has been keeping 12 lines of bacteria reproducing in isolation. That's 40,000 plus generations. What can happen in 40,000 generations? Why, evolution of course. So, has it worked?

Absolutely. The cultures have increased in size, managed to improve their reproductive rates by 75%, and most intriguing, developed the ability to consume citrate. Since e. coli can't eat citrate this is, by some interpretations, a new species. Check out the whole story at The Loom, then add it to your favorites. ;)

1 comment:

Dann Siems said...

Very cool research. I have been strongly influenced by Bennett's work in my own thinking about the evolution of fish life histories.