Stages of an organism evolving a new function documented
ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2012) — A team of researchers at Michigan State University has documented the step-by-step process in which organisms evolve new functions.
The experiment demonstrates natural selection at work. And because samples are frozen and available for later study, when something new emerges scientists can go back to earlier generations to look for the steps that happened along the way.
"We first saw the citrate-using bacteria around 33,000 generations," Lenski explained. "But Zack was able to show that some of the important mutations had already occurred before then by replaying evolution from different intermediate stages. He showed you could re-evolve the citrate-eaters, but only after some of the other pieces of the puzzle were in place."
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