Freeloaders can be good for a community, yeast experiments suggest
Cheaters may not only prosper, they can make life better for everyone else too, a new study of cooperation in yeast reveals.
Common wisdom and scientific research on cooperation agree that the world is a much better place when everyone pulls their own weight, says Laurence Hurst, an evolutionary systems biologist at the University of Bath in England and a coauthor of the new study. That notion, known as the conspiracy of doves, has “largely gone untested because it was so obviously right,” he says.
But the long-held assumption that too many slackers spoil the broth for everyone turns out not to be true in all cases. In a new study pu