Navigation Links
NASA Research Reveals Major Insight Into Evolution of Life on Earth
Date:8/19/2009

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Humans might not be walking on Earth today if not for the ancient fusing of two microscopic, single-celled organisms called prokaryotes, NASA-funded research has found.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

By comparing proteins present in more than 3000 different prokaryotes -- a type of single-celled organism without a nucleus -- molecular biologist James A. Lake from the University of California at Los Angeles' Center for Astrobiology showed that two major classes of relatively simple microbes fused together more than 2.5 billion years ago. Lake's research reveals a new pathway for the evolution of life on Earth. These insights are published in the Aug. 20 online edition of the journal Nature.

This endosymbiosis, or merging of two cells, enabled the evolution of a highly stable and successful organism with the capacity to use energy from sunlight via photosynthesis. Further evolution led to photosynthetic organisms producing oxygen as a byproduct. The resulting oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere profoundly affected the evolution of life, leading to more complex organisms that consumed oxygen, which were the ancestors of modern oxygen-breathing creatures including humans.

"Higher life would not have happened without this event," Lake said. "These are very important organisms. At the time these two early prokaryotes were evolving, there was no oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere. Humans could not live. No oxygen-breathing organisms could live."

The genetic machinery and structural organization of these two organisms merged to produce a new class of prokaryotes, called double membrane prokaryotes. As they evolved, members of this double membrane class, called cyanobacteria, became the primary oxygen-producers on the planet, generating enough oxygen to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere and set the stage for the evolution of more complex organisms such as animals and plants.

"This work is a major advance in our understanding of how a group of organisms came to be that learned to harness the sun and then effected the greatest environmental change Earth has ever seen, in this case with beneficial results," said Carl Pilcher, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., which co-funded the study with the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va.

Founded in 1998, the NASA Astrobiology Institute is a partnership between NASA, 14 U.S. teams and six international consortia. The institute's goals are to promote, conduct, and lead interdisciplinary astrobiology research; train a new generation of astrobiology researchers; and share the excitement of astrobiology with learners of all ages.

The institute is part of NASA's Astrobiology Program in Washington. The program supports research into the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life on Earth and the potential for life elsewhere.

For more information about the NASA's Astrobiology Program and the institute, visit:

http://astrobiology.nasa.gov


'/>"/>
SOURCE NASA
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and Proteolix Initiate Phase 2 Clinical Trial Investigating Carfilzomib for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
2. Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) Partners with Novartis to Advance Phase II Study of Deacetylase Inhibitor
3. Lexicon to Present Research Results at American Chemical Society Meeting Regarding Target of LX1031 Drug Candidate
4. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic Identify Site of Dysfunction in HDL, Carrier of Good Cholesterol
5. Video: New Research Discovers Independent Brain Networks Control Human Walking
6. Quark Pharmaceuticals Extends Research Agreement with State University of New York for Proprietary siRNA Compounds for Acute Hearing Loss
7. Cleveland Clinic Researchers Identify Mechanism Behind Platelet Function and Potentially Fatal Blood Clot Formation
8. HistoRx and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Initiate Brain Tumor Biomarker Research Partnership
9. Diabetes Research Institute Invention Promotes Growth of Stem Cells into Insulin-Producing Cells
10. Researchers Identify Virus Possibly Responsible for Declining Honeybee Population Using 454 Sequencing Technology from Roche
11. Peregrine Researchers Report Data Showing Bavituximabs Potential to Shrink Human Prostate Tumors in Model of Relapsed Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/17/2017)... Advertising -- Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC is investigating potential ... or the "Company") (NASDAQ: ANTH ). Such investors ... by visiting the firm,s site: www.bgandg.com/anth .   ... and/or directors have violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the ... ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... DUBLIN , Jan 17, 2017 Research ... Ingredients/API Market by Type (Innovative, Generic), Manufacturer (Captive, Merchant), Synthesis (Synthetic, ... CVD) - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... The global ... by 2021 from USD 157.95 Billion in 2016, growing at a ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, ... musculoskeletal healthcare , today announced that it ... the strength of the Zimmer Biomet management team. ... will assume the position of President, Americas ... Company. Mr. Delp previously served as Zimmer Biomet,s Vice ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Metro Development Group has ... high speed technology into the fabric of an entire community. A highlight of ... and wellness in a yet-to-be-named, health focused campus. Leading this initiative in partnership ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... education for EMS and firefighting professionals, has released four new continuing education courses ... courses are taught live in an online classroom and meet the requirements of ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... A prescription medication bottle, pocket knife, luggage and a solar-powered aluminum casting ... Challenge , the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has announced. , ... run through early 2018. The challenges are presented by the Institute in partnership with ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... financial planning assistance to families and business professionals throughout central Colorado, is joining ... homeless families. , The Aurora Warms The Night organization is committed to breaking ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Seceon , ... threats in real-time, today announced a strategic partnership with TechLab Security, ... other Seceon partners, TechLab Security has become a strategic partner and a value ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):