Quanta article on experimental evolution of multicellularity


Snowflake yeast, with apoptotic cells in red.

As part of their series on “Life’s Big Leaps,” Quanta Magazine has published an article about Will Ratcliff’s snowflake yeast research (“Life’s Secrets Sought in a Snowflake“).

Those of you who know me have probably heard me gripe about the sorry state of science journalism. This is how you do it, folks. The article, by Emily Singer, originated way back in June at AbSciCon. She fact-checked, read the relevant papers, developed a deep understanding of the subject matter, and contacted outside experts (Rick Michod, Ben Kerr, Rick Grosberg) for more than just money quotes. This is a deep dive into Will’s research that leaves clickbait headlines on the sidewalk and respects the readers’ intelligence.

Emily Singer also wrote the Quanta article about Betül Kacar’s microbial evolution experiments (“E coli hybrid copes with 700 mya engineered gene“). We know Uncommon Descent reads Quanta (see “Evolution is evidence against evolution (?)“), so I imagine we’ll be seeing a response there soon.

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