Adaptive mutations appear in response to selection. In the best-studied system, the two most controversial issues were resolved this year. The mutations are neither Lamarckian nor a peculiarity of bacterial sex, as had been suggested. They occur genome-wide in a hypermutable subpopulation of stressed cells. Genomic 'hot' and 'cold' regions may explain previous failures to detect similar mutations in other systems and at other sites. Stationary phase specific limitation of mismatch repair has also been discovered.
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