I am not so sure if this is an actual test. The question is to discover any modification in the DNA and other aspects of cell biochemistry. One would like to see genes actually switched on showing us that the parent made choices.
In the meantime, this is an excellent protocol with which a number of individual characteristics can be tested for guided gene switching ability.
Observe how this eliminates a more rigorous process of survival of the fittest. Large numbers are not dying in order to follow a random choice trend. They are dying because their mothers did not prepare them sufficiently for the changing conditions.
I think that evolutionary science is now getting on track with good working experimental protocols that will soon winkle out a whole host of completely new knowledge and practical methods for biological husbandry.
Victoria, British Columbia (UPI) Aug 4, 2010 - Canadian scientists say they've observed one of the fastest evolutionary responses ever while studying a fish species' ability to survive in colder water.
"Our study is the first to experimentally show that certain species in the wild could adapt to very rapidly -- in this case, colder water temperature," study author Rowan Barrett said. "However, this rapid adaptation is not achieved without a cost. Only rare individuals that possess the ability to tolerate rapid changes in temperature survive," he said, "and the number of survivors may not be large enough to sustain the population. "It is crucial that knowledge of evolutionary processes is incorporated into conservation and management policy," Barrett said.
Fastest rate of 'evolution'
VANCOUVER - AT LEAST one fish species can adapt in just three generations to survive a sharp change in temperature, researchers said in a study on the fastest rate of evolution ever recorded in wild animals.
'Our study is the first to experimentally show that certain species in the wild could adapt to climate change very rapidly,' said on Friday lead researcher Rowan Barrett.
evolutionary geneticist warned, the evolutionary jump carries a deadly price tag: a high mortality rate. University of British Columbia
In their research, scientists from
Canada and Europe removed marine stickleback fish from the ocean, put them into ponds with gradually dropping temperatures, and studied them for three years.
Over three generations, one per year, the fish evolved to survive water 2.5 degrees Celsius below the limit for their great grandparents, said the study released online and to be published in the September 7 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The findings suggest at least some animals may be able to change quickly enough to survive predicted climate change. – AFP