Selection for Evolvability

In a new Science paper, BEACON faculty Jeff Barrick, Rich Lenski and their co-authors show that greater evolutionary potential can sometimes overcome a short-term fitness disadvantage.  Taking advantage of the ‘frozen fossil record’ from a long-term evolution experiment with bacteria, they demonstrate that the eventual winners in one population were less fit than the eventual losers, but the winners prevailed because they produced more beneficial mutations.

Carl Zimmer and Tina Saey wrote about these findings in the New York Times and Science News, respectively. Science Podcast interviewed Jeff and Rich, and the NSF taped Rich discussing the research.

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