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Science 300 (5624): 1382-1383

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Modulating Mutation Rates in the Wild

Susan M. Rosenberg and P. J. Hastings

What happens to wild isolates of Escherichia coli bacteria from all walks of life when you put them in a laboratory and starve them? In their Perspective, Rosenberg and Hastings discuss just such a scenario and explain the increased rate of stress-induced mutagenesis--a strategy that may hasten evolution--in starved, aging bacterial colonies derived from wild isolates (Bjedov et al.).

The authors are in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, and S. M. Rosenberg is also in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA. E-mail: smr{at}

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