Evolving Bodies: My new story in tomorrow's New York Times

By Carl Zimmer | January 16, 2012 8:25 pm

In the history of life, single-celled microbes have evolved into multicellular bodies at least 25 times. In our own lineage, our ancestors crossed over some 700 million years ago. In tomorrow’s New York Times, I write about a new study in which single-celled yeast evolved into multicellular forms–completely with juvenile and adult forms, different cell types, and the ability to split off propagules like plant cuttings. All this in a matter of weeks. Check it out.

(The paper is not yet online yet, but here’s the reference: “Experimental evolution of multicellularity,” William C. Ratcliff, R. Ford Denison, Mark Borrello, and Michael Travisano. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1115323109 )

Update: Here’s a Twitter-Storify-blog follow up on some reactions to the study.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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