Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Microbes may surf their way to successful cooperation

Posted 10 Oct 2013 / 0

Wired On the Microbial Frontier, Cheaters Rarely Prosper

This is fascinating, particularly because it attempts to connect the ability of bacteria to sustain cooperation through range expansion with the unique range expansion undertaken by humans in the last 30,000 years. I am not sure this will be a fruitful comparison, but you have to give it credit for being bold (that said, I feel like I am getting a bit tired of having to debunk the latest knee-jerk conclusion that scientists working on very simple computational and/or laboratory systems have “discovered the basis for human cooperation”).

This article is a bit vague on the equilibrial implications of this new research. It is fine to say that there is this possibility for cooperation to thrive on a migrating front, but where does this lead? Can that advantage of being prosperous on the front translate to being stable over long periods of time?

A Minor Post, Articles, Cooperation, Evolutionary Modeling, Microbial Ecology, Web

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