Turning a vole into a mighty rodent
March 5, 2015
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)
Take a wild, common forest-dwelling mouse-like rodent, known as a vole, and subject it to 13 rounds of selection for increased aerobic exercise metabolism, and what do you get? A mighty 'mouse' with a 48 percent higher peak rate of oxygen consumption and an increased basal metabolic rate, compared to unselected controls. Scientists have used an evolution technique that has gained popularity, dubbed 'evolve and resequence,' to measure the genetic changes that pushed the humble vole to Olympian levels of performance.