A new study reports the development of the 'morbidostat', a device that allows for continuous culture of bacteria under a constant drug selection pressure using computer feedback control of antibiotic concentration. This device, together with bacterial whole-genome sequencing, allowed the authors to follow the evolution of resistance-conferring mutations in Escherichia coli populations in real time, providing support for deterministic evolution of resistance in some situations.
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The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Rosenthal, A., Elowitz, M. Following evolution of bacterial antibiotic resistance in real time. Nat Genet 44, 11–13 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.1048