Early Life Hedged Its Bets to Survive

By forcing bacteria to evolve in ever-changing conditions, scientists have induced a behavior in which colonies formed by microbes with identical genes take radically different forms, as if one sibling in a set of identical quadruplets could sprout gills.

Technically known as “stochastic switching between phenotypic states” — or, more conversationally, hedging your bets — the ability may have been critical to the success of primitive forms of life.

via Early Life Hedged Its Bets to Survive | Wired Science | Wired.com.

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