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Bacteria can evolve resistance to antibiotics very quickly, as demonstrated by this (https://youtu.be/plVk4NVIUh8) experiment. What im really interested in is if it's plausible that a large colony like that had a similiar chance of giving for example an insulin producing mutant as it had to give the ten times more resilient to antibiotics bacteria? Or is it a matter of evolving quantitative traits vs qualitative traits and it's much more likely to increase the magnitude of a certain trait rather than evolving an unique one?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by David, theforestecologist Jun 11 at 19:52

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This question does not make much sense in biology.

The problem is the definition of qualitative and quantitative in biology. Quantitative just means can be represented by a mathematically sound numeric measurement. You can measure things like chemical levels or dimensions, and they make mathematical sense, 2Um is twice 1Um.

There are binary states in biology either YES or NO these are technically qualitative because there are no inbetween states, you cannot have half a yes. Sometimes this is an artifact of how humans categorize things but often not, example does it have chloroplasts, it can be YES/NO or it can be something in between.

the real kicker is nearly everything in biology including the above examples can be narrowed down to a a genetic sequence which is a semi-quantitative factor. It not truly quantitative because math does not mean anything, the sequences AATT, ATTT, and AGTT is not mathematically comparable. But it is not entirely qualitative because ATTT is quantitatively different from ATTTT. in addition ATAG and ATTG are quantitatively distinct changes to AAAG.

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