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No peak in sight for evolving bacteria
Date:11/14/2013

tion called a power law. Although the slope of the power-law function gets less and less steep over time, it never reaches a peak.

Noah Ribeck, co-author and MSU postdoctoral researcher, built a model using a few well-understood principles.

"It was surprising to me that a simple theory can describe the entirety of a long evolutionary trajectory that includes initially fast and furious adaptation that later slowed to a crawl," Ribeck said. "It's encouraging that despite all the complications inherent to biological systems, they are governed by general principles that can be described quantitatively."

When will it end?

"I call this the experiment that keeps on giving," Lenski said. "Even after 25 years, it's still generating new and exciting discoveries. From the models, we can predict how things will evolve how fit the bacteria will become if future generations of scientists continue the experiment long after I'm gone."

Lenski hopes that an endowment could be secured to keep the experiment going forever, he added.


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Contact: Layne Cameron
Layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

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