A colony of genetically identical E. coli bacteria is actually a mob of individuals.
Dr. Michael Elowitz, Physicist at California Institute of Technology has conducted experiments on colonies of genetically identical (clones) E. coli bacteria under identical conditions and discovered that they behave in different ways. The bacteria have fingerprints of their own and even when they share the same genome, they could still be identified as individuals.
THE LAW OF INDIVIDUALITY:
Just like the Law of Conservation of Energy, I propose the Law of Individuality which governs all the living entities. Either with the same and identical genome or with different genomes, all living organisms have no choice other than that of living as ‘Individuals’. The genes and the genetic codes function in accordance with the Law of Individuality. I would describe Individuality as a Trade Mark. It is the characteristic of a biological entity. Genes and the genetic codes are the tools that an organism uses to express its Individuality. Each organism assembles its own kind of protein molecules to define its identity and to defend its existence in the natural world.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S. Class of April 1970..