College of Science faculty Jessica Lee, Siavash Riazi, Shahla Nemati, Jannell Bazurto, Andreas Vasdekis, Benjamin Ridenhour, Christopher Remien and Christopher Marx had a paper published in PLOS Genetics. In their research, they uncovered that genetically identical cells can be phenomenally different in their ability to survive stress, and thus selection acts upon the distributions of phenotypes without leading to genetic changes. They also found that stress tolerance changes with the environment, and there is even a form of memory that takes place as a result. These phenomena are being discovered in many realms, including cancer, where there are often “phenotypic mutations” which may seem like genetic change, but are not. This study opens the door to studying the entanglement of Darwinian genetic evolution with Lamarckian phenotypic evolution. Read the full article.