Research NewsEvolution

Natural Selection's Capricious Ways

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Science  17 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5337, pp. 390
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5337.390b

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Predicting just how an organism will respond to a new environment can be dicey. An Oxford evolutionary biologist transferred populations of Escherichia coli bacteria that had spent 10 years adapting to a low-sugar diet to a variety of slightly different environments. Their responses to the new environments varied widely, suggesting that the original populations had adapted to the low-sugar diet in different ways.