Giving Compass' Take:

• Ed Yong at The Atlantic writes about biologist Rowan Barrett who, with hundreds of mice and years of research, was able to show and measure the full process of evolution by natural selection. 

• How can scientific experiments on evolution help uncover questions about our environment and the effects of climate change? How can we help fund biologists?

Here's an article on how quickly today’s scientists can uncover the evolutionary secrets of animals.

In the fall of 2010, Rowan Barrett was stuck. He needed a piece of land, one with plenty of mice, and after days of futile searching, he found himself at a motel bar in Valentine, Nebraska, doing what people do at bars: telling a total stranger about his problems.

A young evolutionary biologist, Barrett had come to Nebraska’s Sand Hills with a grand plan. He would build large outdoor enclosures in areas with light or dark soil, and fill them with captured mice. Over time, he would see how these rodents adapted to the different landscapes—a deliberate, real-world test of natural selection, on a scale that biologists rarely attempt.

But first, he had to find the right spots: flat terrain with the right color soil, an abundance of mice, and a willing owner. The last of these was proving especially elusive, Barrett bemoaned. Local farmers weren’t keen on giving up valuable agricultural land to some random out-of-towner. After knocking on door after door, he had come up empty. Hence: the bar.

Read the full article on this unprecedentedly thorough evolution experiment by Ed Yong at The Atlantic