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Latest Eukaryote Stories

2011-10-05 19:05:58

Scientists call it LUCA, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, but they don't know much about this great-grandparent of all living things. Many believe LUCA was little more than a crude assemblage of molecular parts, a chemical soup out of which evolution gradually constructed more complex forms. Some scientists still debate whether it was even a cell. New evidence suggests that LUCA was a sophisticated organism after all, with a complex structure recognizable as a cell, researchers report....

2011-04-14 12:10:39

Remote lochs along the west coast of Scotland are turning up new evidence about the origins of life on land. A team of scientists from the University of Sheffield, the University of Oxford and Boston College, who are exploring rocks around Loch Torridon, have discovered the remarkably preserved remains of organisms that once lived on the bottom of ancient lake beds as long as a billion (1,000 million) years ago. These fossils illuminate a key moment in the history of evolution when life made...

2011-03-08 19:37:54

OSU's Lamb leverages supercomputer to study protein's evolution An Ohio State University molecular biologist leveraged a supercomputer to help better define the family tree of a group of enzymes that have been implicated in a wide range of human diseases and are important targets for anti-cancer therapies. Along with several OSU colleagues, Rebecca S. Lamb, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Molecular Genetics, recently analyzed the evolutionary history of the poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP)...

2010-10-21 00:44:49

The evolution of complex life is strictly dependent on mitochondria, the tiny power stations found in all complex cells, according to a new study by Dr Nick Lane, from UCL (University College London), and Dr William Martin, from the University of Dusseldorf. "The underlying principles are universal. Energy is vital, even in the realm of evolutionary inventions," said Dr Lane, UCL Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment. "Even aliens will need mitochondria." For 70 years scientists...

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2010-01-20 11:10:39

EMBL discovery could yield evolutionary insights and new model organism Although they are present almost everywhere, on land and sea, a group of related bacteria in the superphylum Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae, or PVC, have remained in relative obscurity ever since they were first described about a decade ago. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have discovered that these poorly-studied bacteria possess proteins thought to exist...

2009-10-06 15:10:30

When it comes to the two basic types of cells, prokaryotes and eukaryotes, compartmentalization is everything. Prokaryotes are evolutionarily ancient cells that only have a membrane surrounding their outer boundary, while the more complex eukaryotes have an outer membrane and membrane bound compartments within the cell. Perhaps most notable is the double layered membrane that surrounds the nucleus, the cellular compartment which houses the cell's genetic material. The genetic material is very...

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2008-12-23 13:01:43

Life got bigger in two, million-fold leaps, scientists say Extremes are exciting. Does anyone really think dinosaurs would capture our imagination the way they do if they hadn't been so huge? You don't see natural history museums vying for fossil skeletons of prehistoric rodents. It's the Tyrannosaurus rex fossils they salivate and squabble over. And would the Hollywood glitterati cart around those little teacup pups if they weren't so dang tiny and cute? Not likely. Earth's creatures come in...

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2007-08-27 08:27:06

Scientists have suspected that the three known domains of life -- eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea -- branched off and went their separate ways around three billion years ago. But pinning down the time of that split has been an elusive task. Now, a team of scientists present direct evidence that the three domains of life coexisted at least as long as 2.7 billion years ago. The discovery came from chemical examination of shale samples, loaded with oily lipid remains of archaea found in a...

2005-08-10 00:12:16

UCLA biochemists reveal the first structural details of a family of mysterious objects called microcompartments that seem to be present in a variety of bacteria. The discovery was published Aug. 5 in the journal Science. "This is the first look at how microcompartments are built, and what the pieces look like," said Todd O. Yeates, UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and a member of the UCLA-DOE Institute of Genomics and Proteomics. "These microcompartments appear to be highly...