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Evolutionary innovation caught in the act

Scientists following the evolution of a single strain of bacteria reported that it underwent several steps of mutation, surprising in its complexity, to acquire the ability to use a new food source.

The findings, reported Wednesday in the science magazine Nature, are the result of an experiment started 25 years ago by Richard Lenski of Michigan State University.

“When I started that project, I thought I would find one or two mutations and be done with it,” said Zachary Blount, a member of Lenski’s lab. “But instead, there may be dozens of mutations working together.”

“Creationists sometimes argue that even two mutations for one trait is too much complexity, yet here we see that evolution manages that with ease,” he said.
 
 

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