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Lyme bacteria show that evolvability is evolvable

| | November 18, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Some gamblers succeed by spiriting cards up their sleeves, giving them a wider range of hands to play. So do some bacteria, whose great capacity for genetic variability helps them evolve and adapt to rapidly changing environments.

Now research on Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, shows that the capacity to evolve can itself be the target of natural selection.

“There are other data that suggest that there could be selection on evolvability, but this is the first example where there really aren’t any other confounding answers for the data,” says lead author Dustin Brisson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Read the full, original story here: Lyme bacteria show that evolvability is evolvable

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