Home > Science/Astronomy > Giving Ancient Life Another Chance to Evolve: Scientists Place 500-Million-Year-Old Gene in Modern Organism

Giving Ancient Life Another Chance to Evolve: Scientists Place 500-Million-Year-Old Gene in Modern Organism

July 12, 2012

Paleo-experimental evolution. (Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology)
 
Using a process called paleo-experimental evolution, Georgia Tech researchers have resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene from bacteria and inserted it into modern-day Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. This bacterium has now been growing for more than 1,000 generations, giving the scientists a front row seat to observe evolution in action.

“This is as close as we can get to rewinding and replaying the molecular tape of life,” said scientist Betül Kaçar, a NASA astrobiology postdoctoral fellow in Georgia Tech’s NASA Center for Ribosomal Origins and Evolution. “The ability to observe an ancient gene in a modern organism as it evolves within a modern cell allows us to see whether the evolutionary trajectory once taken will repeat itself or whether a life will adapt following a different path.”

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711100726.htm

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  1. July 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

    “Believe nothing, question everything.” Sound advice.

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