Evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski of Michigan State University has been cultivating a population of E. coli from a single bacterium taken 20 years ago. Currently the bacteria is at or around it’s 44,000th generation, and Lenski and his team have had the opportunity to observe evolution in action like no others before them.
“…sometime around the 31,500th generation, something dramatic happened in just one of the populations â€“ the bacteria suddenly acquired the ability to metabolise citrate, a second nutrient in their culture medium that E. coli normally cannot use.”
That’s just cool, as is the fact that due to preservation Lenski & Co. are able to backtrack to when they think the groundwork for the evolutionary change occurred and test to see if it will occur again, and their tests further reinforce the proof that evolutionary change does not necessarily always lead to a best outcome.
Read more about it here.
Now, just for grins and giggles: Try replacing every instance and variant of the term ‘evolution’ in the article with ‘intelligent design’. Makes a whole mess of less sense then.