Michael J. Behe A (R)evolutionary Biologist

cellular function

Scientist holding PCR tube put into PCR machine
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Multiple Mutations Needed for E. Coli

Dear Readers, An interesting paper has just appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli.” (1) It is the “inaugural article” of Richard Lenski, who was recently elected to the National Academy. Lenski, of course, is well known for conducting the longest, most detailed “lab evolution” experiment in history, growing the bacterium E. coli continuously for about twenty years in his Michigan State lab. For the fast-growing bug, that’s over 40,000 generations! I discuss Lenski’s fascinating work in Chapter 7 of The Edge of Evolution, pointing out that all of the beneficial mutations identified from the studies so far seem to have been degradative ones, where functioning genes are knocked out or Read More ›