deepstash

Beta

The 500-Year-Long Science Experiment

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/500-year-long-science-experiment/581155/

theatlantic.com

The 500-Year-Long Science Experiment
Michigan State University also houses an E. coli experiment that could run for centuries. Since February 1988, the lab of the microbiologist Richard Lenski has been watching how acquire mutations and evolve over the generations. They're currently on generation 70,500. Because E. coli replicates so quickly, it's like watching evolution on hyper-speed.

3

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Testing the longevity of bacteria

In 2014, scientists started a 500-year experiment to determine the longevity of bacteria.

The experiment consists of 800 glass vials containing either Chroococcidiopsis or Bacillus subtilis ...

42 SAVES


Similar experiments

  • Scientists have been studying how different fertilizers affect the particular crops grown in the same fields year after years since 1843.
  • Agricultural scientists have been carrying o...

27 SAVES


The long-term plan

For the 500-year experiment to succeed, scientists are supposed to test the dried bacteria for viability and DNA damage every other year for the first 24 years and then every quarter-century for th...

24 SAVES


SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Living in the age o doubt

Living in the age o doubt

We live in a time when all scientific knowledge (the safety of fluoride, vaccines, climate change, moon landing, etc.) faces coordinated and vehement resistance.

The acces...

We now face risks we can’t easily analyze

Our existence is invaded by science and technology as never before. For many of us, this brings comfort and rewards, but this existence is also more complicated and sometimes agitated.

Our lives are full of real and imaginary risks, and distinguishing between them isn’t easy. We have to be able to decide what to believe and how to act on that.

Marcia McNutt  - Geophysicist

Marcia McNutt - Geophysicist

“Science is not a body of facts. Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.”

6 more ideas

Human Evolution

Evolution is a gradual change in the DNA of a species over many centuries, occurring by natural selection when traits created by genetic mutations promote survival or reproduction in an organism.

Stretch Genes

  • Human beings adapt to their environments genetically, over a period of time. 
  • Developing countries having populations with no access to proper health care continue to survive and thrive. 
  • In countries where infectious disease outbreaks have occurred in the past, survivors develop a natural resistance to the disease and pass it on to their offspring. 
  • People living in higher altitudes develop a mutated gene that increases blood oxygen content, resulting in better survival in the next generation.

Our Diet

What we consume or don't consume influences our genes. Example: Countries where milk isn’t taken commonly, develop lactose intolerance and other digestive problems.


Our Ultra-processed and super-unhealthy diets are also contributing to genetic adaptation, with studies showing changes in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The upcoming result of this mutation of DNA is uncharted territory and will be more fully understood in the coming decades.

one more idea

Lessons from Social Media

  • At the beginning of the decade, we idealistically thought to connect the world would bring people together and help them become more tolerant of their differences. Sadly, the rise of intoleran...

The best time in world history

It is the best time in world history to be alive. We are safer, healthier, less violent, more tolerant, more educated, and more literate than ever. We have more economic freedom, more knowledge, more entertainment, and more connectivity.

But, the overwhelming amount of information and opportunity makes it more difficult to find meaning and purpose. We should learn how to deal with the effects of new technologies and be aware of its limitations.

Corporate overlords

Amazon's logistical efficiency, Apple's global supply chain and other tech companies like Samsung, Facebook, and Google are corporations that are holding the world together more than any international governmental organization.

7 more ideas