Two billion-year-old riddle of life is solved as ’nature’s big bang’ is mapped for first time
2010 10 09

From: DailyMail.co.uk



A two billion-year-old riddle of how the basic building blocks of life were formed has been solved by scientists.

’Nature’s big bang’ - when two single cells fused into one living organism - has been mapped for the first time by researchers led by a team from Ireland.

Dr James McInerney, senior biologist at the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Maynooth, said the discovery in effect traced humans’ oldest ancestor.


Remarkable: Scientists have now mapped nature’s ’big bang’, which is when two organisms fuse together.

’This was a remarkable event, which appears to have happened only once,’ Mr McInerney said.

’These two primitive single cell life forms came together in an event that essentially allowed nature to grow big.’

Dr McInerney said the research would help explain what gave rise to all multi-cell organisms we know today - insects, plants, animals and humans.
Using genetics and information from the mapping of the yeast genome, evidence of two originally single cells, known as prokaryotes, were discovered in a eukaryote which formed with a nucleus.

Researchers were able to show that yeast - a model system for molecular biology - contained one eukaryote genome which came from two distinct different prokaryote genomes.

Dr McInerney said: ’It is in the nucleus that we find the DNA of all species, and for years it had been a puzzle as to how the first nucleus was created. Now we know.’

Researchers believe this can be dated to about two billion years after the oldest micro-fossils.

The discovery follows the mapping of the family tree of all nature by researchers at NUI Maynooth.

Dr McInerney said: ’Essentially, you had an organism, like the Minotaur in ancient Greece, and this, in biological terms is what we hypothesised was the common ancestor of all eukaryotic life.

’Because humans are eukaryotes, we were, in essence, trying to trace the deepest human ancestor.’

Dr McInerney, of NUI Maynooth’s Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Unit of the Department of Biology, collaborated with Dr James Cotton at the world-famous Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England, to make the discovery.

Their work has been published in the eminent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

The discovery was made after 10 years research at NUI Maynooth and followed the sequencing of the yeast genome in 1997.


Article from: dailymail.co.uk






Related Articles
Revised theory of gravity doesn’t predict a Big Bang
Big Bang experiment may reveal dark universe: CERN
Structure of HIV genome ’decoded’
Mammoth’s genome pieced together
’Watermarks’ written in first artificial genome
First genome transplant turns one species into another


Latest News from our Front Page

Pre-historic tokens used in conjunction with cuneiform
2014 07 22
An archaeological dig in southeast Turkey has uncovered a large number of clay tokens that were used as records of trade until the advent of writing, or so it had been believed. But a new find of tokens, dates from a time when writing was commonplace – thousands of years after it was previously assumed this technology had become obsolete. Researchers ...
Are immigration opponents Nazis?
2014 07 22
It seems the usual suspects are calling anyone who opposes unlimited immigration to be a "Nazi". The Left seems to be in constant fear of "Nazis" that lurk in public policy discussions and I assume under their beds. If you oppose any Leftist position, you are a.... take a wild guess...wait for it.... a NAZI! Tim Wise recently went ...
What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?
2014 07 22
Exclusive: The U.S. media’s Ukraine bias has been obvious, siding with the Kiev regime and bashing ethnic Russian rebels and Russia’s President Putin. But now – with the scramble to blame Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down – the shoddy journalism has grown truly dangerous, says Robert Parry. In the heat of the U.S. media’s latest war hysteria – rushing to ...
Oh, Great: Robots Are Set to Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews
2014 07 22
Advancing a career in the US government might soon require an interview with a computer-generated head who wants to know about that time you took ketamine. Psychologists at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) are developing an interview system that uses a responsive on-screen avatar for the first stage of the national security clearance process. Initial screening for a variety ...
Is Anything on the Internet Real Anymore?
2014 07 22
Is there anybody…out there? I promise I’m a real person asking this question and typing this article…but beyond that, I can’t promise much else about anything you or I see on the Internet. This article on ZDNet, “GCHQ’s dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping,” confirms — beyond a shadow of any possible doubt — that a barrage of ...
More News »