Scientists have documented how organisms evolve new functions—by looking at what 56,000 generations of E. coli could eat.
“It’s pretty nifty to see a new biological function evolve,” says Zachary Blount, postdoctoral researcher in the Michigan State University.
“The first citrate-eaters were just barely able to grow on the citrate, but they got much better over time. We wanted to understand the changes that allowed the bacteria to evolve this new ability. We were lucky to have a system that allowed us to do so.”
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