Blind Cave Fish Can Produce Sighted Offspring
It's a miracle! Blind cavefish, despite having adapted to their lightless environment for more than a million years, can produce sighted offspring in just a single generation, a new study reveals.
The ability was discovered when researchers mated fish from distinct populations that had been isolated in separate caves.
In some cases the first-generation offspring of such unions could see.
The find shows that the genetic mutations causing blindness are different in different lineages of the fish.
"Evolution's palette is varied," said study author Richard Borowsky of New York University in a statement.
"Restoration of the ability to see comes in a single generation because the populations residing in different caves are blind for different reasons—i.e., different sets of genes are nonfunctional in the different populations."