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Has anyone ever conducted an evolution experiment and quantitatively compared it to theory? For example, has anyone ever put bacteria in a million petri dishes filled with antibiotics and calculated the number of petri dishes that should develop drug-resistant bacteria, and then compared that calculation with the experiment?

I imagine that both the experiment and theoretical modeling would be very difficult, but maybe someone has been ambitious enough to try it.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Remi.b, Christiaan, rg255, March Ho, James May 10 at 3:06

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If this is possible, I'd be particularly interested in finding out what variables they took into account in their calculations. – LanceLafontaine Apr 15 '13 at 2:10
I'm not really sure what the theoretical model would be. But really, I just wanted to say that you might enjoy reading about the Luria-Delbruck fluctuation experiment, which is tangentially relevant - see – Alan Boyd Apr 15 '13 at 11:24
The question is definitely unclear. There are tons of theoretical predictions. The vast majority of them have been tested (sometimes through experimental evolution ans sometimes through observation) but not all. – Remi.b May 6 at 3:04

I think the closest example to this is Greg Lang's work at Princeton. His work will take a population of yeast and let it grow for 1000 generations. At each generation a sample will be kept allowing sequencing of the population at each generation. His website is available here:

And some of his work has already been published here:

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Unless I am not getting the example you give, it seems to me that there is a classic experiment that does just what you said: the fluctuation test or the luria-delbruck experiment

Also, this recent paper from R. Lenski's lab is a good example too.

but I am sure there must be others.

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