Sunday, Oct 04th

Last update07:37:42 PM GMT

You are here News Science Bacterial Competition In Lab Shows Evolution Never Stops

Bacterial Competition In Lab Shows Evolution Never Stops

microbe evolutionEvolution is relentless process that seems to keep going and going, even when creatures live in a stable, unchanging world.

That's the latest surprise from a unique experiment that's been underway for more than a quarter-century.

Evolution is so important for biology, medicine and a general understanding of our world that scientists want to understand it as fully as possible. That's why, in 1988, biologist took a dozen glass flasks and added identical bacteria to each of them. Those 12 populations have been evolving ever since, letting scientists watch evolution in real time.

Day after day — including holidays and weekends — workers in Lenski's lab at Michigan State University in East Lansing feed and care for the E. coli bacteria. The bacteria eat and divide again and again. The original microbes have produced more than 50,000 generations over the last 25 years.

Random mutations have allowed them to get fitter, meaning they reproduce faster. "In evolutionary biology, fitness is this representation of the ability of an organism to survive and reproduce," says Lenski. He explains that all else being equal, organisms that reproduce more quickly will have an advantage when competing with those that reproduce more slowly.

Early on, Lenski predicted his bacteria would adapt and adapt but eventually hit a wall — that they would reach a peak level of fitness they couldn't improve on.



Most Recent Related Stories...

Farmer digs up woolly mammoth bones in Michigan soy field

Farmer digs up woolly mammothA farmer near Chelsea made a startling discovery Monday night: bones of a woolly mammoth possibly...

Supermassive black hole bigger than scientists thought was possible

giant black holeAstronomers in England have discovered a supermassive black hole many times larger than should be possible.In...

Nasa scientists find evidence of flowing water on Mars

Water on MarsLiquid water runs down canyons and crater walls over the summer months on Mars, according to...

Electron transport between species discovered in deep-sea research

Electrons transfer between speiciesResearchers at the California Institute of Technology have discovered two microbial species capable of sharing the...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!