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I've been reading up on beneficial mutations, and am curious when we discovered and documented the first one.

Can anyone point me to the first documented beneficial mutation?


Per request, let me try to clarify my answer a bit. I know that we've been aware of mutations perhaps as long ago as the 1930s (I believe it was R.A Fisher who was one of the first to talk about them??).

I have read various documented beneficial mutations since then, such as lactase example in humans, or cit+ in E.Coli.

What I'm curious about is when it was that we first identified and documented (scientific paper or article) an observed beneficial mutation, in any organism (not just humans).

So yes, Remi.b, your wording would have been what I was looking for: "what is the first article that has documented a beneficial mutation, in any organism"

Does this clarify it enough?

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    $\begingroup$ You think about things like the mutation which activates lactase in people of european ancestry permanently? $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean the first documentation (no matter if mutation was earliest exactly known), or earliest exactly known such mutation (which has been documented at any time)? $\endgroup$
    – hyde
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ I am not really sure what kind of observation you are interested in? If we see a sweep just like for the lactase example in humans? Or are you looking for a mutation that appeared in a lab and that has directly been shown to be beneficial? And as Hyde said did you actually mean "what is the oldest beneficial mutation we know" or "what is the first article that has documented a beneficial mutation". In both case, the question needs editing I think, to make clear what kind of observation you are interested in. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not even sure if you mean in humans or ever. This question is unclear. As others have said, it really needs to be narrowed down in its scope. This could mean nearly anything. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ E. coli using citrate might be the best document beneficial mutation. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 22:56

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