Michael J. Behe A (R)evolutionary Biologist

Experimental Evolution

DNA sequence. Generative AI
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Richard Lenski, “evolvability”, and tortuous Darwinian pathways

Several papers on the topic of “evolvability” have been published relatively recently by the laboratory of Richard Lenski. (1, 2) Most readers of this site will quickly recognize Lenski as the Michigan State microbiologist who has been growing cultures of E. coli for over twenty years in order to see how they would evolve, patiently transferring a portion of each culture to new media every day, until the aggregate experiment has now passed 50,000 generations. I’m a huge fan of Lenski et al’s work because, rather than telling Just-So stories, they have been doing the hard laboratory work that shows us what Darwinian evolution can and likely cannot do. The term “evolvability” has been used widely and rather loosely in Read More ›

E.Coli Bacteria Cells
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New work by Richard Lenski

A new paper from Richard Lenski’s group has appeared in Nature http://tinyurl.com/ygtcflq and has garnered a fair amount of press attention (for example, herehttp://tinyurl.com/yh7nqht ). Some people asked me for my thoughts about it. The new paper continues the grand experiment that Lenski has been publishing about lo these many years — allowing a culture of the bacterium E. coli to continuously grow and evolve under his close observation. The only really new thing reported is a technical improvement — these days one can have the entire genome of E. coli “re-sequenced” (that is, determine the sequence of the entire DNA of the particular E. coli you’re working with) done for an affordable cost. (There are companies which will do it for a fee.) So Lenski and collaborators had the Read More ›