It is claimed that Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. However, it seems that a group of scientists who completed the same experiment 600 times to reveal the secrets of evolution does not support this idea.
The experiment has been going on for over a decade, and scientists watch thousands of yeast cells battle each day in a lab in Atlanta. According to a report in the New York Times, the fastest growing cells are those that live the longest, form the largest clumps, and eventually split into snowflake shapes.
Snowflakes like this are thought to be at the center of evolution, which took place millions of years ago when the first single-celled organisms came together and became multicellular. It is therefore hoped that the experiment may shed light on the secrets of evolution that have long eluded scientists.
The new paper, published in the journal Nature, attempts to understand how single-celled organisms evolved into multicellular organisms that share the same fate. The researchers say their data reveals at least one clue to how cells begin to transform themselves into a multicellular body.
The experiment showed that over about 3,000 generations, the yeast clumps began to grow large enough to even be seen with the naked eye. This growth can be safely said to be enormous, and the experiment may provide more insight into the secrets evolution is keeping from us, including whether humans are still evolving.
Each day, the researchers spin a test tube filled with yeast cells, and the ones that sink to the bottom are then sucked in and used in the test tube the next day. This allows them to grow and connect more and more each day, allowing them to expand into the snowflake-like structures the researchers observed.
It may also be possible for the outermost yeast objects to provide nutrients to the innermost structures. This possibility is among the things that researchers plan to test in the future, and it may reveal even more clues that will help us unravel the mysteries of evolution…