25 years of bacterial evolution

Richard Lenski has been running a long term experiment on the evolution of e. coli. This experiment has been running since 1988, and reached 50,000 generations in 2010. That’s about a generation every 231 minutes (thank you Wolfram Alpha). Over this time, they found a number of interesting evolutionary mutations.

All of the populations evolved to have larger cells than the ancestor population. Four populations lost the ability to repair damage to DNA, leading to more mutations. One group evolved an adaptation to grow on citrate.

It is important to remember that evolution is a process. Evolution doesn’t stop, and we aren’t the end result of evolution. All other species are also evolving. Evolution will continue for all species, including Homo sapiens.