I was browsing through this newgroup a while back and saw a few
contributions on "purposful" mutation (I guess "Lamarkian" wasn't a
good term, but it seems to come up in this connection). Today I was
reading Scientific American, and saw a few paragraphs describing, I
assume, "induced" reversion to lactose metabolism; i.e. bacteria on
lactose rich (glucose poor) plates mutated to lactose metabolism at
a higher rate than they "should" have. As you can see, I'm pretty
sketchy on this subject, and don't even remember who did the experiment.
But my question is pretty simple: what are the essential nuts and bolts
of this type of experiment? What control can be run to show that the
mutation rate is in fact higher in the presence of lactose? To me it
seems that if you have lactose in the start medium, you are simply
selecting for lac+, not inducing it.
University of Oslo