Science: Bacteria & Sex

How primitive Is sex? Most biologists have thought that bacteria, which are simple, one-celled organisms, multiply only by division. At Yale last week, Bacteriologist E. L. Tatum emerged from his lab waving proof that even bacteria sometimes act like male & female.

Bacteria act that way only in rare genetic emergencies. Dr. Tatum selected two groups of Escherichia coli (bacteria which Jive in the intestines) and watched them. They multiplied normally by splitting in two, a solitary process. Then Dr. Tatum bombarded some of them with X rays and ultraviolet light. This damaged their...

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