Scientists grow microbe that could help explain how complex life evolved from single-celled organisms

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Scientists grow microbe that could help explain how complex life evolved from single-celled organisms Empty Scientists grow microbe that could help explain how complex life evolved from single-celled organisms

Post by Ben Reilly on Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:30 am

Patience proved the key ingredient to what researchers are saying may be an important discovery about how complex life evolved. After 12 years of trying, a team in Japan has grown an organism from mud on the seabed that they say could explain how simple microbes evolved into more sophisticated eukaryotes. Eukaryotes are the group that includes humans, other animals, plants, and many single-celled organisms. The microbe can produce branched appendages, which may have helped it corral and envelop bacteria that helped it—and, eventually, all eukaryotes—thrive in a world full of oxygen.

“This is the work that many people in the field have been waiting for,” says Thijs Ettema, an evolutionary microbiologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The finding has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but on Twitter, other scientists reviewing a preprint on it have already hailed it as the “paper of the year” and the “moon landing for microbial ecology.”

The tree of life has three major branches—bacteria and archaea make up two, both of which are microbes that lack nuclei and mitochondria, distinct membrane-bound compartments to store DNA or generate energy, respectively. Those components, or organelles, characterize cells of the third branch, the eukaryotes. The prevailing thinking is that roughly 2 billion years ago, a microbe belonging to a group called the Asgard archaea absorbed a bacterium called an alphaproteobacterium, which settled inside and became mitochondria, producing power for its host by consuming oxygen as fuel.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/08/tentacled-microbe-could-be-missing-link-between-simple-cells-and-complex-life

Because I know some people will ask me to put this in simpler terms ...

Single-celled life, the first type of life on Earth, abounds in the world, and so does the relative newcomers, multi-celled life, like us. The human body has on average about 30 trillion cells, all working in relative harmony to make us who we are.

Scientists have always wondered how complex, multicellular life arose from single-cell creatures.

This newly-grown microbe has the ability to basically pull another bacteria into itself, with both organisms benefiting from the partnership.

Scientists have long thought that some sort of cooperative situation such as this one eventually led to multi-celled life, and now they have evidence that not only can microbes absorb others to mutual benefit, but that some of them actually still do it, billions of years after life arose on Earth.

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Scientists grow microbe that could help explain how complex life evolved from single-celled organisms Empty Re: Scientists grow microbe that could help explain how complex life evolved from single-celled organisms

Post by eddie on Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:35 am

Science geek. Rolling Eyes

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