Feds Award Million-Dollar Grant to Study Sex Habits of Mud Snails
And yet another example of why the sequester is a joke. Unreal.
Check it out:
The National Science Foundation has given a grant that could wind up totaling almost a million dollars to a University of Iowa study researching which is better for New Zealand mud snails: reproducing sexually or asexually. The grant, awarded in 2011 to last until 2015, has already cost $502,357, and could wind up costing taxpayers $876,752 before all is said and done.
The abstract for the study explains why this research is so important:
Sexual reproduction is more costly than asexual reproduction, yet nearly all organisms reproduce sexually at least some of the time. Why is sexual reproduction so common despite its costs. This project will use a different organism, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand snail, which has both sexual and independently-derived asexual lineages that make it ideally suited to address fundamental evolutionary questions of how genes and genomes evolve in the absence of sexual reproduction.